1375.0 - Discussion Paper: Measuring a Knowledge-based Economy and Society - An Australian Framework, 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2002   
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Contents >> Chapter 5: Possible Indicators >> Economic and social impacts dimension

Possible indicators for this dimension are:

CHARACTERISTIC: Economic and Structural Change


  • GDP per capita
  • Labour productivity
  • Multifactor productivity
    ABS Australian National Accounts
  • Correlation between ICT use and financial performance at firm level
    Future ABS developments
  • Contribution of technology and knowledge-intensive industries to GVA
  • Contribution of high technology imports and exports to total trade
    OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard
  • Contribution of trade in business services to total trade
    ABS International Trade in Services (Survey of)
  • Exports of Education and Training services
    Department of Education, Science and Training/The Overseas Student Statistics Collection


  • Relative earnings of employees by level of educational attainment
  • Relative earnings of self-employed by level of educational attainment
  • Unemployment rates and duration of unemployment by highest level of educational attainment
    ABS Labour Force
  • Changes in patterns of work: teleworking trends among Australian workers
    ABS Locations of Work Survey

As discussed in chapter 4, the indicators chosen are those measures of economic and social progress that some commentators have suggested should be affected to some extent by a KBE/S. However, because of the difficulty in establishing 'cause and effect' relationships, and because factors other than a KBE/S impact upon broader economic measures, the choice of these indicators is not straightforward. This is an area where the ABS would particularly welcome comment.

Apparent gaps in available statistics for this dimension include:
  • Information on the link between knowledge and firm performance (though note that a number of countries are addressing this gap through data matching exercises and longitudinal studies). An indicator arising from current Australian work in relation to ICT is proposed for inclusion in this framework.
  • Direct Information on the social impacts (for example the impact of ICT).

Indicators of the so-called digital divide (or digital opportunity) can be found in the ICT dimension. The digital divide refers to inequality in access to ICT, especially the Internet. Important digital divide indicators are household and individual use of ICTs (and barriers to use) by socio-demographic and region characteristics. It has been argued that households and individuals without access to ICTs will become increasingly marginalised as ICTs, especially the Internet, are used instead of (or more effectively than) other means of communicating and conducting transactions (see Lee et al (2002) for a more in-depth discussion on this topic).

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