A Triple Helix of University–Industry–Government
Edited by Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz
Chapter 11: Measuring the Knowledge Base of an Economy in Terms of Triple-Helix Relations
11. Measuring the knowledge base of an economy in terms of triple-helix relations Loet Leydesdorff, Wilfred Dolfsma and Gerben Van der Panne Ever since evolutionary economists introduced the concept of a ‘knowledgebased economy’ (Foray and Lundvall, 1996), the question of the measurement of this new type of economic coordination has come to the fore (Carter, 1996; OECD, 1996). Godin (2006) argued that the concept of a knowledge-based economy has remained a rhetorical device because the development of specific indicators has failed. However, the ‘knowledgebased economy’ has been attractive to policy-makers. For example, the European Summit of March 2000 in Lisbon was specifically held in order ‘to strengthen employment, economic reform, and social cohesion in the transition to a knowledge-based economy’ (European Commission, 2000; see also European Commission, 2005). When originally proposing their program of studies of the knowledgebased economy at the OECD, David and Foray (1995, p. 14) argued that the focus on national systems of innovation (Lundvall, 1988, 1992; Nelson, 1993) had placed too much emphasis on the organization of institutions and economic growth, and not enough on the distribution of knowledge itself. The hypothesis of a transition to a ‘knowledge-based economy’ implies a systems transformation at the structural level across nations. Following this lead, the focus of the efforts at the OECD and Eurostat has been to develop indicators of the relative knowledge intensity of industrial sectors (OECD, 2001; 2003) and regions (Laafia, 1999, 2002a, 2002b). Alternative frameworks for ‘systems of innovation’ like technologies (Carlsson and Stankiewicz, 1991)...
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