Companies invest with the aim of getting a future return greater than the expenses for their investment. Knowledge-based capital (KBC) signifies investments in:
The Swedish business sector is characterized by increased investments in these forms of capital. As a consequence it becomes more important to observe and understand KBC investment in order to enable adequate growth policy initiatives.
Presently shortcomings in the data sets recording KBC investments, in Sweden and internationally, hamper comparisons of levels of investment over time between countries. Analyses of the contribution from KBC-investments to economic growth will also suffer from these shortcomings in the measurements.
This report concludes that at present the KBC-data with sufficient quality are limited to investments in software and R& D. The main reason is that the current international practice still use different data sources and derive measures by the means of ratios which low empirical basis. The international harmonization of the data is proceeding slowly.
Sweden can, with limited efforts, produce better data than what is presently available. This report suggests that the focus should be on generating data on KBC using business surveys. Improvement in three current surveys and a new survey on corporate organization and training can produce sufficient statistics. With Statistics Sweden’s (SCB) current methods of harmonized sampling, distributions of corporate KBC investments can be realized.
The report proposes that the SCB in cooperation with Growth Analysis are commissioned and given resources to:
Serial number: PM 2014:28
Reference number: 2014/003