Edited by Ruth Towse and Christian Handke
Chapter 15: Measuring the creative economy
In the UK and elsewhere, the creative sector has been growing in both size and the attention it receives, leading policy-makers and researchers to frequently ask: ëWhat is the contribution of the creative sector to the UK economy?í As a result a new research area has emerged that is still in the early stages of development and has employed a variety of methods. Using the UK as a case study, this chapter reviews the more popular methods used, highlights their limitations, and proposes the use of an alternative approach that is fully grounded in the economics literature and neatly overcomes those same limitations. In assessing the contribution of creative or innovative activity, two approaches are common. The first is to compile a set of time-series indicators, often weighted to form a composite, as in the European Innovation Scoreboard (2007). But: (1) interpretation of an index composed of subjectively chosen, correlated indicators is problematic; (2) the choice of weights is also subjective; and (3) a change in the weighting scheme can produce different results. A second is to aggregate output across pre-selected creative industries, as in: the UKís Department for Culture, Media and Sport annual report (DCMS, 2011); a similar Office for National Statistics (ONS) study based on the InputñOutput tables (Mahajan, 2006); and the World Intellectual Property Organizationís framework for estimating the contribution of copyright industries (WIPO, 2003). For want of a better term, this will be referred to as the ëaggregation methodí.
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