REPORT OF 2008 OECD SOFTWARE SURVEY Working Party on National Accounts Paris, 14-16 October 2008 Jiemin GUO Introduction • 2001 OECD task force for implementation of SNA93 treating software as fixed asset. • Two previous software surveys • 2002 survey – result reported to OECD WPNA2002 • 2004 small follow-up survey – result reported to OECD WPNA 2004 • 2007 OECD task force on R&D and Other Intellectual Property Products • The 2008 software survey: for the handbook with updated information 2008 OECD Software Survey • Scope: OECD countries and accession countries (35) • 20 countries responded – 19 OECD Members – Israel Basic approach (1) - Purchased software • 15 out of 20 countries use a combination of supply-side and demand-side data. • Most adopt confrontation and balancing process. • Some rely more on the supply-side data and just use the proportions from the survey estimates to allocate the supply-side aggregate to using industries and sectors, • others, such as the Netherlands, place more reliance on the demand-side data. • Countries had different views on the quality of the survey data. Some countries had concerns, but others thought they were of satisfactory quality. Basic approach (2) - Own account software • Six countries indicated that they also use surveys to obtain estimates of own account software GFCF. • Three of them also use a macro method to derive estimates • The others rely solely on the survey estimates. Basic approach (3) • The remaining 5 of the 20 countries use the supply-side approach only for purchased software and the macro approach only for own account software. Supply-side approach • Countries were asked to provide details for the 7 steps for estimating software prescribed in the Handbook. • There is considerable variation in country practices and the relative magnitude of the adjustments. – Avoiding double counting – Excluding maintenance from software supply – Exclusion of household consumption. • Identifying imports of software is a major problem for many countries. Macro approach to the estimation of own account software • Most countries use employment of software professionals, but the coverage varies • There is also considerable variation in the assumed proportions of the time spent by these people, ranges from 12.5% to 50%. • The mark-up for non-labour costs varies a great deal, from 50% to 120% of labour costs. SNA 2008 recommendation on software licences • Most countries reported that no data collected. • It appears that it will be difficult to implement in practice, and it is something the TF needs to address. • Possible solutions: – Add questions to surveys on length of software licences – Ask software publishers for length of software licences for business software R&D and software • Only a few countries report having estimates of software R&D. – Only 8 countries answered. – 6 countries conducted R&D Survey. – 4 countries reported that R&D is included in the estimates of software GFCF. • Probably not much thought has been given to inclusion of software R&D by other countries. Software price indices • US (BEA) has established software price indices for different components • A number of countries use the same approach as the BEA or use the adjusted BEA price index for packaged software. • Most of the others use various PPIs, CPIs or wage rates. Software service lives • Most countries do not use different service lives for packaged and own account/customised software. • Overall, the service lives used vary between 3 and 8 years.
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