Intangible Capital and Labor Productivity Growth


GLOBALINTO will provide new measures of intangible assets at the firm level, filling an important gap in measurement which has restricted statistical production, micro-based analysis and evidence-based policymaking. GLOBALINTO is a follow-up project for the INNODRIVE project.



Short description:

GLOBALINTO will provide new measures of intangible assets at the firm level, filling an important gap in measurement which has restricted statistical production, micro-based analysis and evidence-based policymaking. GLOBALINTO will analyse the various potential explanations of the productivity puzzle, both at micro and macro levels. Our work will bring further the earlier work by the EU FP7 Innodrive project to create refined and validated intangible capital data and indicators that can be implemented in official statistics production. Importantly, this also includes the development of measures of public sector intangibles and their impact on innovation and productivity. The analyses in GLOBALINTO are novel, focusing not only on firm behaviour at the micro level but by also being able to observe the common growth characteristics in industries and the role of intangibles for changes in market structure. Broader measurement of intangibles (in particular non- R&D) at the firm level helps to identify new sources of growth to reverse the trend of lower intangible capital deepening after financial crises in 2008. Knowledge on human and intangible capital at the firm-level also helps to promote new intangible capital formation under the ageing population. Such a micro data approach is by definition necessary also in the effort to understand the role of small firms as engines of growth and hindrances for market entry. The analysis also aims to show the global structure and fragmentation of value chains, and their role in innovation, knowledge diffusion and the exploitation of new knowledge. On the basis of empirical results and theoretical advances, GLOBALINTO will also explore and further the role of policy for the mobilisation of intangibles. The ambition of GLOBALINTO is not only to assess productivity potential but to decompose its explanatory factors in a way that offer tools for policies to foster innovation and future growth

University Hamburg GLOBALINTO

Project Management: Dr. Felix Roth

Project Duration: 1 February 2019 to 31 January 2022

Total Funding: 2 972 811 € 

Funding amount University of Hamburg: 404 436 €

Funders: European Commission, Horizon 2020, Research and Innovation Action

Official Homepage: European Commission ; Project Homepage

Social Media: 

Homepage at the University of Hamburg



Roth, Felix (2019): Revisiting Intangible Capital and Labour Productivity Growth, 2000-2015: Accounting for the Crisis and Economic Recovery in the EU, in Hamburg Discussion Paper in International Economics, Nr. 3.


Short description

The aim of this research project is to improve our understanding by providing new data on intangible capital and new evidence on the contributions of intangible capital to economic growth. This study will improve measurement of the capital embodied in intellectual assets (e.g. human capital, R&D, patents, software and organisational structures) and will uncover the growth potential associated with intangible capital accumulation in manufacturing, service industries and the rest of the economy.

At the micro-level INNODRIVE will improve insight into the contributions of intangibles to the growth of firms by exploiting recently established linked employer-employee datasets in a selection of old and new member states, and by implementing a performance-based methodology to analyse how firms use knowledge and human capital to increase their productivity and how mobile workers react to these processes.

At the macro-level INNODRIVE will provide new estimates of intangible capital at the national level and an evaluation of the contribution of intangible capital to the growth process in old and new member states (and the United States for the purposes of comparison)


Roth, F. and A.E. Thum (2013). Intangible Capital and Labor Productivity Growth – Panel Evidence for the EU from 1998-2005, Review of Income and Wealth 59:486-508.

Gros, D. and F. Roth (2012). The Europe 2020 strategy: Can it maintain the EU’s competitiveness in the world?. Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.

Jona-Lasinio, C., Iommi, M. and F. Roth (2011). National Measures of Intangible Capital in the EU-27. In: H. Piekkola (ed.). Intangible Capital—Driver of Growth in Europe, Proceedings of the University of Vaasa Reports 167. Vaasa: University of Vaasa: 20-62.

Jona- Lasinio, C., Iommi, M., Geppert, K., Mortensen, J., Piekkola, H., Riley, R. and F. Roth (2009). State of the art in research of the economics of intangibles, Deliverable 12, INNODRIVE project.

Roth, F. (2010). Measuring Innovation – Intangible Capital Investment in the EU, Intereconomics 45: 273-77 

Website Innodrive

In Addition

O’Mahony, M. and F. Roth (2016). Drivers of European economic growth - New insights, new policies. Brussels: European Commission. Prepared for the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation.

Roth, F. (2014). The Rule of Law and Labour Productivity Growth by Businesses – Evidence for the EU, 1998-2005. Prepared for the European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre.

Roth, F. (2013). Organizational Trust, Organizational Fear and TFP Growth—A Sectoral Analysis for the EU, SERVICEGAP Discussion Paper 20.

Saam, M., Cerquera, D., Reitze, G., Inklar, R., O’Mahony, M., Peng, F., Rammer, C., Rincon-Aznar, A., Roth, F. and M. Sarbu (2011). First version of indicators on innovation, ICT use and intangibles—Annotations,   INDICSER Discussion Paper 4.

Saam, M., Cerquera, D., Inklar, R., Müller, B., O’Mahony, M., Rammer, C., Rincon-Aznar A., Roth, F. und A.E. Thum (2011). Review of measures and data sources on intangibles, ICT use and innovation in European service sectors, INDICSER Review Paper 1.