WorldScope coverage update

WorldScope company records now cover annual reports data for (currently) 74562 companies. This includes 46843 active and 27719 inactive companies. This update: 482 companies were added. WorldScope company records are available through Datastream and LexisNexis.

Today I have updated the WorldScope country coverage file and it now includes the latest update as it was posted in the first Thomson Reuters Infostream quarterly publication of 2013.

Major updated Countries (new records):
Australia (18)
Canada (64)
China (18)
India (21)
Japan (27)
South Korea (16)
Taiwan (18)
United States (111)

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R&D Expenditures for countries & industries

There are several sources that have data on investment or expenditure on Research and Development in countries. The amount each country/government spends on Research & Development is a key indicator of government and private sector efforts to obtain competitive advantage in science and technology.
Several sources include data for several countries but is usually only covers general data like “Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) as a percentage of GDP” (= Gross Domestic Product). Some of these sources list this data for the following broad categories of funding: Business enterprise sector, Government Sector, Higher Education sector, and Private, non-profit sector. An example is the European database/website, called Eurostat:

If you need more detailed information a good source (if your organisation has a license to it) is the SourceOECD iLibrary. This database has a dataset called “Business enterprise R-D expenditure by industry“. The dataset presents research and development (R&D) expenditure statistics performed in the business enterprise sector by industry according to the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) revision 3.1. Data are presented from 1987 onwards (to, currently, 2010). This breakdown between industries is, in principle, made at the enterprise level, although some countries are able to break down R&D data for multi product enterprises between their main lines of business. Example:

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Datastream US equity data quality

I recently came across an article that raised the issue of the quality of Datastream data. Ince & Porter (2006) warn researchers for potential flaws in the coverage by Datastream. The authors compared the US coverage of equity data to that of CRSP over the period 1975 and 2002. They found that certainly in the older years a large number of equities are missing in Datastream. An example is that for the year 1975 20% of common equity issues (found in the CRSP database) were missing from Datastream.

The problem is more important for small caps (= lower 20% of stocks measured by market capitalisation). Datastream also suffers to some extent from survivorship bias. The authors suggest a number of methods that alleviate the problems somewhat. More details are available in the article below:

Ince, O.S. & R.B. Porter, 2006, “Individual equity return data from Thomson Datastream: handle with care!,” Journal of Financial Research 29(4), 463-479.

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