Data Science and Management

The team "Data Science and Management" provides support for WIFO's Research Groups in terms of data access and database maintenance as well as in the acquisition, processing, analysis and evaluation of large and complex data volumes. The high standards of WIFO's data quality and consistency play a crucial role in the excellence of WIFO's research work.

New technological developments enable both new methods for analysing large volumes of data as well as the creation of new data sets. WIFO sees this as an important opportunity for empirical economic research and evidence-based economic policy and therefore uses these new approaches both in its applied research projects as well as in its basic research.

Recent examples of the Data Science and Management team's work include the creation of a data set on complexity indicators (product space indicators). Additional complex data sets are the patent database of WIFO or the individual data of the labour market database of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

In addition to developing new data and analysis methods, the Data Science and Management team also supervises the WDS – WIFO-DatenSystem, which is also available to external users. The WDS imports and integrates data from various Austrian and international data sources in a homogenised form which are then prepared for use in scientific analyses and economic policy decisions.


Publications on patents

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.
Monographs, 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.