Archived — Research Summaries: Working Paper 2009-04: General Business Panel Survey: Content Recommendations

By Marc Duhamel and Ignatius Horstmann.

It is now widely accepted that one of the main challenges to Canada's future economic prosperity is the business sector's lagging productivity growth and innovation performance. Two factors can explain a lower intensity of business innovation at the aggregate or industry-level between two countries. First, a smaller proportion of firms could be undertaking innovation activities. Second, those firms that do innovate pursue those activities less intensively. To understand the factors that drive low intensity of business innovation at the industry level, one must understand, therefore, the determinants of business innovation at the firm-level. While the available evidence supports the view that business innovation yields better firm performance in Canada and abroad, this evidence does not explain why in a given industry some Canadian businesses are not intensively adopting innovation-based strategies, while others do. This report describes basic business data elements that could support empirical advances in policy research on the important question of business innovation in Canada.

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