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Working Paper

Measuring the intangible economy to address policy challenges

The purpose of the first work package of the MICROPROD project was to improve the firm-level data infrastructure, expand the measurement of intangible assets and enable cross-country analyses of these productivity trends.

By: Date: April 11, 2022 Topic: Macroeconomic policy

This Working Paper is an output from the MICROPROD project, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 822390.

European economies exhibit the so-called ‘productivity puzzle, whereby investments’ in digital technologies and intangible assets have not delivered the hoped-for productivity gains. Explanations for this puzzle lie in the unequal ability of companies to make use of these technologies, and resulting patterns of market concentration, productivity divergence and dampened business dynamism. Access to firm-level data is essential to properly understand these rich dynamics. The purpose of the first work package of the MICROPROD project was to improve the firm-level data infrastructure, expand the measurement of intangible assets and enable cross-country analyses of these productivity trends. The MICROPROD researchers developed the Micro Data Infrastructure (MDI), a centralised platform that harmonises access to the firm-level data gathered by national statistical institutes. The data infrastructure developed through this work package offers valuable insights into the evolution of productivity across the European Union and into the effects of digitalisation and globalisation. It can thus generate important evidence for designing policies to support the European Commission’s policy objectives, especially for achieving the digital and green transitions. In addition, the research enabled by this data infrastructure and carried out within the context of MICROPROD can provide valuable lessons about the response of European economies to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

Recommended citation

Le Mouel, M. (2022) ‘Measuring the intangible economy to address policy challenges’, Working Paper 03/2022, Bruegel

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Improving understanding of productivity, its drivers and the way we measure it.

Speakers: Carlo Altomonte, Eric Bartelsman, Marta Bisztray, Italo Colantone, Maria Demertzis, Wolfhard Kaus, Javier Miranda, Steffen Müller, Verena Plümpe, Niclas Poitiers, Andrea Roventini, Gianluca Santoni, Valerie Smeets, Nicola Viegi and Markus Zimmermann Topic: Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Online event organised in the framework of MICROPROD, a research project to improve our understanding of productivity, its drivers and the way we measure it.

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This Bruegel public event is organised in the framework of MICROPROD, a research project that aims to improve our understanding of productivity, its drivers and the way we measure it. Panellists and participants will take stock of the current challenges in productivity measurement, discuss the preliminary findings of the project and reflect on future research and policy priorities.

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