Funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union


WP1. Measuring Public Sector intangibles. Methodological and measurement issues

Leading institution: The Conference Board Europe -TCBE- (Kirsten Jaeger)


  • To review measurement issues on intangible capital in the public sector using a coherent National Accounts approach
  • To develop a methods manual, with chapters on theory, growth analysis, and measurement practice
  • To provide a framework for the comparative analysis of Europe’s growth model in a global context

WP2. Harmonized cross-country estimates of intangible investment in the Public Sector

Leading Institution: Luiss Libera Universita Internazionale degli Studi Sociali -LUISS- (Cecilia Jona-Lasinio)

The objective of this WP is the construction of a database on public intangible investment and capital services for 22 European countries, and the US, over the period 1995-2011.

In particular, the objectives are:

  • Produce a cross-country harmonized database of Public sector intangibles consistent with the National Accounts (NA) principles, coherent with other NA aggregates (output, tangible gross fixed capital formation, intermediate costs) and with the business sector estimates of intangibles developed by INTAN-Invest (Corrado, Haskel, Jona-Lasino, and Iommi, 2012).
  • Extend our measures of public intangibles to China, India and possibly Brazil according to data availability for the public sector in these countries.
  • Develop alternative estimation methods to check the robustness of our results for some specific variables.

WP 3. Education, health and R&D: Impacts on smart growth

Leading Institution: National Institute of Economic and Social Research -NIESR- (Mary O’Mahony)

The overall objective is to investigate how the provision of the public services of education, health and R&D impact on growth and how the use of intangible capital affects this provision.

Within this the objectives of the research are to:

  • Gauge the extent to which government expenditures on health impact on economic growth, the well-being of populations and the benefits for different segments of the population.
  • Investigate the impact of intangible investments on the provision of health services by the public sector through an analysis at the hospital level, comparing the UK, Hungary and Germany.
  • Analyze the impact of intangibles on school performance in one country (the UK).
  • Estimate the contribution of universities investment in intangibles on the long term “smart” growth of the economies by means of their influence on welfare and social progress.
  • Measure and explain the productivity of academic institutions using the quality-adjusted output of universities in terms of scientific publications and patents.

WP4. Spillovers from Public Sector intangibles

Leading institution: Imperial College -IC- (Jonathan Haskel)

The objective of this WP is to better understand how public sector intangibles spillover to the private sector.

The project will expand the study of spillovers including to additional public sector intangibles (software, health,…) to that habitually used in the literature (public sector human capital, R&D).

There are potentially many such ways to explore such spillovers (econometrically, case study, …) and to proceed we shall examine the extent to which such spending affects private sector productivity growth.

WP 5. Austerity and recovery

Leading institution: Ivie (Lorenzo Serrano)

The main objective is to analyse the impact of the public sector’s reaction to the crisis and budgetary austerity on economic performance  through its effect on the investment on intangibles and the expected long-run consequences for the post-crisis recovery.

  • The WP will develop a blueprint for a growth-friendly consolidation strategy focusing on intangibles.
  • It will focus on the effects through R&D, human capital accumulation and public IT spending; the role of the complementarity or substitutability between investment in tangibles and intangibles; the case of the New State Members; and the possibility of obtaining real time information on intangibles.

WP6. SPINTAN Synthesis and policy implications

Leading institution: Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas (Ivie) and The Conference Board Europe (TCBE)


  • Present a synthesis of the main results of the project.
  • Provide the policy implications in a coherent and consistent way. It will be presented in a format suitable for a wide array of audiences.

WP7. Management and dissemination

Leading institution: Ivie

The objectives of this WP are to provide effective co-ordination of the project and to disseminate the results of the project.