Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/106602
Authors: 
Nathan, Max
Rosso, Anna
Bouet, Francois
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 8662
Abstract: 
Governments around the world want to develop their ICT and digital industries. Policymakers thus need a clear sense of the size and characteristics of digital businesses, but this is hard to do with conventional datasets and industry codes. This paper uses innovative 'big data' resources to perform an alternative analysis at company level, focusing on ICT-producing firms in the UK (which the UK government refers to as the 'information economy'). Exploiting a combination of public, observed and modelled variables, we develop a novel 'sector-product' approach and use text mining to provide further detail on the activities of key sector-product cells. Overall, we find that the ICT production space is around 40% larger than SIC-based estimates, with almost 70,000 more companies. We also find ICT employment shares over double the conventional estimates, although this result is more speculative. Our findings are robust to various scope, selection and sample construction challenges. We use our experiences to reflect on the broader pros and cons of frontier data use.
Subjects: 
quantitative methods
firm-level analysis
Big Data
text mining
ICTs
digital economy
industrial policy
JEL: 
C55
C81
L63
L86
O38
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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