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Publication | 4 June 2020

JRC Statistical Audit of the 2018 global innovation index

Conceptual and practical challenges are inevitable when trying to understand and model the fundamentals of innovation at the national level worldwide. In its 11th edition, the 2018 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 126 countries and across 80 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. The European Commission’s Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra has been invited for the eighth consecutive year to audit the GII. As in previous editions, the present JRC audit focuses on the statistical soundness of the multi-level structure of the index as well as on the impact of key modelling assumptions on the results.2 The independent statistical assessment of the GII provided by the JRC guarantees the transparency and reliability of the index for both policy makers and other stakeholders, thus facilitating more accurate priority setting and policy formulation in this particular field.

JRC Statistical Audit of the 2018 global innovation index
(2 MB - pdf)

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