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Mapping digital businesses with big data: some early findings from the UK

Nathan, Max and Rosso, Anna (2015) Mapping digital businesses with big data: some early findings from the UK. Research Policy, 44 (9). pp. 1714-1733. ISSN 0048-7333

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.01.008

Abstract

Governments around the world want to develop their ICT industries. Researchers and policymakers thus need a clear picture of digital businesses, but conventional datasets and typologies tend to lag real-world change. We use innovative ‘big data’ resources to perform an alternative analysis for all active companies in the UK, focusing on ICT-producing firms. Exploiting a combination of observed and modelled variables, we develop a novel ‘sector-product’ approach and use text mining to provide further detail on key sector-product cells. We find that the ICT production space is around 42% larger than SIC-based estimates, with around 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: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00487...
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Spatial Economics Research Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
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: Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2016 16:12
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2019 02:04
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/65211

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