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Mapping information economy businesses with big data: findings from the UK

Nathan, Max and Rosso, Anna (2014) Mapping information economy businesses with big data: findings from the UK. CEP Occasional Papers (CEPOP44). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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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 ‘sectorproduct’ approach and use text mining to provide further detail on the activities of key sector-product cells. On our preferred estimates, we find that counts of information economy firms are 42% larger than SIC-based estimates, with at least 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.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C8 - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs > C81 - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data
L - Industrial Organization > L6 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing > L63 - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
L - Industrial Organization > L8 - Industry Studies: Services > L86 - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O38 - Government Policy
Sets: Departments > Economics
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2015 15:10
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2019 00:21
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/60615

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