Le besoin de nouveaux indicateurs économiques

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON – « On ne sait gérer que ce que l'on sait mesurer. » C'est la sagesse qui sous-tend les indicateurs comparables à celui du produit intérieur brut et d'autres indicateurs globaux qui nous informent sur la santé des économies nationales de par le monde. Les décideurs et les planificateurs ont utilisé ces chiffres depuis des décennies pour les aider à mieux orienter la croissance économique intérieure.

Mais le recours au PIB et à d'autres indicateurs traditionnels est peut-être en train de saboter un objectif très recherché : le développement florissant des économies de l'innovation. Aujourd'hui, certains créneaux majeurs du secteur de l'informatique sont à peine mentionnés dans les comptes nationaux. Alors que le PIB indique la valeur marchande de tous les biens et services produits dans un pays, de nombreuses vedettes de l'ère numérique (par exemple Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla, Netscape, etc.) ne produisent aucune marchandise et offrent des services gratuits.

Ces mêmes vedettes ont également tendance à saper la productivité de certaines entreprises traditionnelles. Les applications en ligne gratuites ont fait baisser le chiffre d'affaires de Garmin, le pionnier du GPS, autrefois l'une des entreprises les plus dynamiques des États-Unis. Skype est en train de tuer l'appel téléphonique international « minute par minute. »

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