This paper proposes a framework to account for innovation similar to the usual accounting framework in production analysis and a measure of “innovativity” comparable to that of total factor productivity. This innovation accounting framework is illustrated using micro-aggregated firm data from the first Community Innovation Surveys (CIS1) for seven European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Italy for the year 1992. Based on the estimation of a generalized Tobit model and measuring innovation as the share of total sales due to improved or new products, it compares the propensity to innovate, and the innovation intensity conditional and unconditional on being innovative, across the seven countries and low- and high-tech manufacturing sectors. Even with relatively few explanatory variables our innovation framework already accounts for sizeable differences in country innovation intensity. It also shows that differences in innovativity across countries can be nonetheless very large.

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