The challenge of measuring innovation in emerging economies' firms: A proposal of a new set of indicators on innovation

Luciana Marins


The traditional indicators on innovation rely on the linear assumption that research leads to development, centring on the measurement of inputs and outputs. Based on the traditional innovation indicators, recent studies focused on the industrial innovation process at Latin America state that nowadays Latin American firms display a passive role at world’s innovative activities, characterised by the lack of firms’ innovative skills. However, these indicators do not seem to be the most appropriate for measuring innovation, especially in emerging economies’ firms. The focus of this paper is to theoretically propose a set of new indicators on innovation that might be more adequate to the reality of firms located in emerging economies, centring on the way innovation activities process takes place within the firms. In order to do so, the paper searches for support from five approaches of the economic theory. The validation of the suggested set of new indicators could shed some light on the understanding of the innovative performance of emerging economies’ firms.

Keywords: innovation process, indicators, economic theory, emerging economies’ firms.

JEL Classification: L20, M10, M21, O30.

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872