Data Science

The "Data Science" team supports WIFO's Research Groups with regard to the processing, analysis and evaluation of very complex and large data volumes. The associated high demand for data quality and data consistency characterises all of WIFO's research activities.

New technological developments enable both new methods to analyse large amounts of data and the construction of new data sets. WIFO sees this as a great opportunity for empirical economic research and evidence-based economic policy and therefore uses these new methods both in research projects and in its basic research.

Recent examples include the construction of a data set on complexity indicators (product space indicators). Other complex data sets include WIFO's patent database and the individual dataset of the Ministry of Social Affairs' labour market database.


Publications on patents

WIFO Working Papers, 2017, (543), 49 pages
Online since: 10.10.2017 0:00
This paper examines whether PageRank algorithms are a valid instrument for the analysis of technical progress in specific technological fields by means of patent citation data. It provides evidence for patent data in biotechnology. Recent literature has been critical with regard to the use of PageRank for the analysis of scientific citation networks. The results reported in this paper indicate, however, that with some minor adaptations and careful interpretation of the results the algorithm can be used to capture some important stylised facts of technical progress and the importance of single patents relatively well especially if compared to indicators based on direct inward citations only.
Studies, August 2015, 183 pages
This study has been prepared for the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), under Specific Contract ENT-SME-14-F-S107-SI2-698839 implementing the Framework Service Contract ENTR/300/PP/2013/FC-WIFO on "Studies in the Area of European Competitiveness" coordinated by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO; coordinator: Andreas Reinstaller). This service contract is financed by the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME).
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Commissioned by: European Commission
The aim of this study is to analyse the development of new industrial specialisations and the process of export diversification both at the country and the regional level for the EU countries over time. It examines to what extent these processes show path dependent properties, whether persistent development trajectories can be shifted in order to avoid structural traps and what role related and unrelated diversification play for the economic performance of regions. Overall, the results of this report and its policy implications underscore that Smart Specialisation policies require a smooth coordination of a larger set of diverse policy measures that take into account both the local context and all the involved players rather than a perfect setup of single policies. In particular, the educational system, specialisation patterns in research and innovation, and foreign direct investments play a key role in diversification processes and should be a constitutive element of Smart Specialisation policies.