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Capturing the value of intangible assets in micro data to promote the EU's growth and competitiveness

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GLOBALINTO (Capturing the value of intangible assets in micro data to promote the EU's growth and competitiveness)

Période du rapport: 2020-02-01 au 2022-04-30

The GLOBALINTO project (“Capturing the value of intangible assets in micro data to promote the EU's growth and competitiveness”) develops new measures of intangible assets at firm and industry level. The European Union has, compared to emerging economies, experienced slow productivity growth rates since the 1970’s, which have prompted strong attention to “Productivity puzzles”.
GLOBALINTO’s research and exploitation strategy revolves around three groups of key results in the project: measurement, analysis and policy. The most recent EUKLEMS 2022 together with INTAN-Invest dataset enables analysing intangibles broadly and the market economy at industry and national levels over the period 1995-2018. The GLOBALINTO Intangibles Survey is a large-scale survey conducted among seven countries (France, Germany, UK, Greece, Finland, Slovenia and Denmark). Firm-level analysis uses harmonized LEED data in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Slovenia mostly with remote access to data in statistical offices. Global value chains (GVC) from GIOID data show the diffusion of knowledge across countries, which has gained increasing attention in recent years.
Milestones MS1, MS2, MS3, MS4 are achieved related to statistical framework setting, data availability and formation and policy targets. MS3 set targets for
1) New ways of processing data and indicators
2) Public sector intangibles: measurement, performance and role in public policy
3) Scenarios for the implementation of new indicators and methods in the European Statistical System
4) Survey results and methodology
5) The validation of IC and production function estimates of productivity of ICs to obtain new performance-based valuation of intangibles
6) Academic articles on microlevel and macrolevel underpinnings of growth
7) Policy recommendations in new ways to measure Intangible Capital (IC) and to promote productivity growth and other policy topics described
Results by source of data are
EU-KLEMS industry-level data.
• No decrease in intangibles after the financial crises, thus not causing a decrease in productivity. Intangible capital deepening accounts for around 50 percent of labour productivity growth both at the aggregate and sectoral levels, the rest is explained mainly by TFP
• Driven by economic competencies especially in services, while this type of intangibles is not included in the National Accounts
• R&D dominates intangible capital investments in the goods and manufacturing sectors,
• Especially software, training and organizational capital, could play a critical role in explaining and closing the productivity gap between US and Europe

Global Value Change (GVC) analyses
• A key novel contribution is the classification of intangibles into domestic and imported, a dichotomy which embeds intangibles in GVCs as traded intermediates. Domestic intangibles are used for innovations and imported intangibles more for sectoral specializaion
• Positive relationship between value added of exports and economic performance associates with a “virtuous circle” between intangible investment and exports that ultimately enhances productivity performance for the EU-27 economies
Further policy implications based on the results are as follows:
• Attractiveness implications; Create motivation for FDI in local knowledge-intensive service enterprises. Create stable business environment, high-quality institutions, robust and efficient infrastructure to foster the development of healthy innovation ecosystems
• Buzz implications; Build networking policies. Implement policy frameworks for new knowledge-intensive ventures. Consider local knowledge complimentary to foreign knowledge
• Connectedness implications; Create frameworks that facilitate trade, especially for the case of knowledge production across borders. Investment into communication infrastructure and transportation infrastructure
All of this information also helps in identifying factors relevant for improving balance of trade in services, in particular

Intangible Assets Survey 2020
• In-house intangible investments outweigh investments in intangibles purchased from external providers, possibly undervalued in formal surveys
• The Covid-19 crisis had no impact on the level of intangible spending in 2020 related to 2019 across asset types
• The acceleration of digital transformation by Covid-19 shock is clearer in services than in manufacturing, while R&D investments increased broadly during pandemic period
• Proactive firms invest in intangibles and exports and focus on technology
• A redirection of policy support to the growth of knowledge-intensive firms is needed

Firm-level harmonized LEED data in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Slovenia.
• Intangible-labor biased technological change IBTC, that resembles skill-biased technical change, show technical improvement over time, which did not slow down after the financial crises
• Faster depreciation of intangible relative to physical capital reflects an improvement of technical change, inclining a decrease in intangibles price when “Living in ocean of knowledge” (Nakamura, 2022 Globalinto Oslo 2022)
• Entrepreneurial talent support is part of growth policy
• Knowledge intensive services have grown fast with highest intangible intensity
• Occupation-based intangibles can be applied as a complementary source to official data on R&D for analytical and statistical purposes


We provide number of individual results through publication, presentation and other dissemination based on our over 40 scientific publications
1. Special issues in Journal of Intellectual Capital in 2020, forthcoming one in Science and Public Policy, and the book published through Routledge extend our work:
Macro and meso-level work on the relation between intangibles and productivity (EUKLEMS data) in the upcoming report by Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, forthcoming), background reports such as ”Innovation-driven growth policies for Finland”, for the Economic Policy Council
2. Global value chains and knowledge flows. Through a series of shedding light on the role of intangible assets, participation in global value chains and international knowledge flows
3. A number of firm level analyses have been conducted utilizing register-based LEED widely disseminated in a number of conference papers
GLOBALINTO workshops aim of actively participating at EU level on building more coherent policy and raising awareness of knowledge accumulation.
We can agree with the general recommendations observed in DG Research and Innovation as remedies.
• Enhance the skills of workers and managers
• Direct / indirect support to R&D activity
• High-quality digital infrastructure and framework conditions

Policy or institutional framework should be improved for the following reasons:
• Fragmented approach
• Neglects tensions inherent in the provision of intangibles
• Limited to fiscal incentives for development of intangibles

Tax and subsidy policy for intangibles was an important part of our agenda
• Enhance financial incentives to enterprises, tax relief, research subsidies) and establish collaboration routes for public-private sector joint initiatives.
• Foster cross-country collaborations under the scope of developing knowledge intensive goods and services