Statistics of Technological Progress

Statistics of Technological Progress


a branch of economic statistics concerned with technological progress in the national economy, the technological level of production and industrial output, and the creation and introduction of new machines, materials, and technological processes. In the USSR, the data used in compiling these statistics are drawn from the periodic and annual reports of enterprises, organizations, construction projects, sovkhozes, and kolkhozes, as well as from simultaneous surveys and special sample surveys.

Statistics of technological progress are used to record, monitor, and analyze the fulfillment of plans of scientific research work and the application of scientific and technological advances to the national economy. They also serve to identify unused reserves and thus accelerate technological progress. Fulfillment of the plan is monitored in conformity with a system of indexes that pertain to the economic planning of technological progress. Statistics are computed for the overall fulfillment of assignments and for the stages reached in creating and introducing new technology in various branches. The indexes help monitor the fulfillment of assignments involving the solution of scientific and technical problems, the mastery of production processes for new types of products (first industrial series), the mechanization and automation of production, and the introduction of modern, including computer, technology and a scientific organization of labor.

Statistics of technological progress dealing with the level of technology and industrial output shed light on questions related to the state and development of scientific potential, the creation, mastering, and production of new equipment, the modernization of output and withdrawal of obsolete products, and the technological level and quality of output. Any rise in the technological level of production as a result of new materials and fuels is seen in the indexes for the volume of production of each new material, as well as in the volume and share of the output in which the new materials are used in comparison with the total volume of production of the given type of output.

Indexes of electrification and chemicalization in the economy provide important information on technological progress. This progress influences the degree to which labor is provided with basic means of production and energy; it also promotes mechanization and automation, which in turn raises the level of worker training (amount of capital, machinery, and power available per worker).

The primary indexes of the economic efficiency of introducing new technology are the saving per ruble of expenditure and the payoff period. Consideration is also given to expenditures for science and scientific services, capital expenditures for the introduction of new technology at existing enterprises, the sources of financing, the saving of labor resources, and the effect of new technology and a scientific organization of labor on labor productivity. Other factors considered include the change in expenditure norms for the most important types of material resources, the consumption of material in industry and construction, additional profits and savings on current production expenditures resulting from the introduction of new technology, and the economic effect over the course of a year of new technology.

Inasmuch as the introduction and effective use of new technology are related to improvements in the organization of production, labor, and management, statistics of technological progress must include certain other indexes. Among them are indexes of the development of specialization and cooperation in industry and construction and of the level of labor organization. Indexes of labor organization encompass the number and proportion of auxiliary workers in the total number of workers and the proportion of workers employed at places organized according to model plans. They also include the proportion of workers involved in a scientific organization of labor. Indexes of the level of organization of management must also be included in statistics of technological progress. These indexes encompass the number and proportion of managers and administrative personnel in the total number of employees, the existence of automatic control systems at enterprises and in combined sectors, and the number of production associations and associations concerned with the application of science and technology to production.

A rise in the technological level of production is reflected in data on changes in the structure of industrial branches showing a rise in the proportion of highly productive units within each branch.

Indexes of the development of creative initiative of workers with respect to technological improvements in production include the number of inventors and workers whose rationalization proposals have been adopted, the number of applications submitted and author’s certificates of invention granted, the number of inventions and rationalization proposals introduced, the financing and expenditures for inventions and rationalization, and the savings from the introduction of rationalization proposals and inventions.


Kvasha, Ia. B. Statistika novoi tekhniki. Moscow, 1966.
Baklanov, G. I., V. E. Adamov, and A. N. Ustinov. Statistika promyshlennosli, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.


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