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Publication | 4 June 2020

JRC Statistical Audit of the 2017 Global Innovation Index

Composite Indicators

Conceptual and practical challenges are inevitable when trying to understand and model the fundamentals of innovation at the national level worldwide. In its 10th edition, the 2017 Global Innovation Index (GII) considers these conceptual challenges in Chapter 1 and deals with practical challenges—related to data quality and methodological choices—by grouping country-level data over 127 countries and across 81 indicators into 21 sub-pillars, 7 pillars, 2 sub-indices and, finally, an overall index. This annex offers detailed insights into the practical issues related to the construction of the GII, analysing in depth the statistical soundness of the calculations and assumptions made to arrive at the final index rankings. Statistical soundness should be regarded as a necessary but not sufficient condition for a sound GII, since the correlations underpinning the majority of the statistical analyses carried out herein ‘need not necessarily represent the real influence of the individual indicators on the phenomenon being measured’.1 Consequently, the development of the GII must be nurtured by a dynamic iterative dialogue between the principles of statistical and conceptual soundness or, to put it another way, between the theoretical understanding of innovation and the empirical observations of the data underlying the variables.