After presenting the history, the evolution and the content of innovation surveys, we discuss the characteristics of the data they contain and the challenge they pose to the analyst and the econometrician. We document the two uses that have been made of these data: the construction of scoreboards for monitoring innovation and the scholarly analysis of various issue related to innovation. In particular we review the questions examined and the results obtained regarding the determinants, the effects, the complementarities, and the dynamics of innovation. We conclude by suggesting ways to improve the data collection and their econometric analysis.

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