that their attempts to bridge this problem were unsuccessful. I would like to see that bridge completed because we really do want to have a continuous time series to enable fair comparisons over time.
Next, the issue of industry classification system, NAICS versus SIC. We are in the throes of converting to a new industry classification system, and as we do this, in many cases we are dropping the historical time series because we are finding it difficult to link industry definitions and trace them back through time. It is important that we be able to do this.
The spillover question. A lot of R&D tends to be concentrated in certain areas. I heard a paper by a Ph.D. candidate the other day who was trying to determine to what extent physical distance mattered; he was looking at R&D by state. Well, we have little information on the geography of R&D.
What is the relationship between R&D performers? For that matter, what is the relationship between funders and performers? We go to great effort in our satellite account to get everything on a performance basis. Nevertheless, it can matter who the funder is and there may be associations between performers.
Micro data. In my dreams I want to be able to go to NSF and use data that cannot be put in a publication because of confidentiality concerns, much in the same way that you can go to Census Research Centers and access the micro data under strictly controlled conditions. This would be a way of getting around the problem of missing data because of industry sensitivity. It will take time to bring something like this to pass.
Finally, bring on another Mansfield! Ed Mansfield did several studies a number of years ago to ascertain the benefits of R&D. It is important in our paper in the context of who is receiving the spillover benefits of R&D. I would love to have another Mansfield emerge to give us more information on the nature and types of benefits arising from R&D.
The next speaker is Andrew Wyckoff from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
ANDREW WYCKOFF: Our presentation is in two parts, the first part by me and a second by my colleague in the Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry, Dominique Guellec, who heads the unit responsible for the Frascati Manual and some of the methodologies that underpin what we are discussing today.
A word about the OECD and what we do. We are a 30-member organization of industrialized countries headquartered in Paris. We may be best known for trying to produce reasonably harmonized data in various areas, including R&D. We deal with the details of methodology and try to arrive at some agreement about how to proceed. The heavy lifting is done by the member country delegates to the committee of National Experts in Science Technology Indicators (NESTI).
From where we sit we see a number of different types of users and uses of our data, but by far the most popular is simply basic comparisons of R&D levels or R&D intensities, normalized by the size of the population or the size of the economy, the GDP. That is by and far the most common use of the data, but we also see comparisons of industrial structure, particularly targeting on what are thought of as strategic technologies. In addition, there is a lot of interest in how the 30 countries, which are roughly similar in stage of economic development, differ in both the funding and the performance of R&D. Equally important are the human resources associated with R&D, but I will not talk as much about that as about R&D expenditures.
The topic du jour of the OECD on R&D has got to be the targeting of various R&D