Michelle Alexopoulos to Present 4 February on Library Collections as Indicators of Economic Changes

The public is invited to attend this free presentation in person or remotely via WebEx; slides and audio will be available online afterward.

The event schedule is as follows:

The Medium is the Measure: Library Collections as Indicators of Economic Changes

Dr. Michelle Alexopoulos
Associate Professor
Department of Economics
University of Toronto

Thursday, 4 February 2010

8:30-9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Coffee and Pastry Reception

9:00-10:30 a.m. (EST)
Presentation and Discussion

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Kilgour Building Auditorium
6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin, OH 43017-3395

Overview of presentation:
Can the patterns of library collections be used to measure economic growth and technological shifts? In this talk, Dr. Alexopoulos will unveil new indicators of technical change that, she argues, resolve many of the problems associated with traditional ones (e.g., research and development (R&D) intensity and patents). Dr. Alexopoulos' measures are primarily derived from previous unutilized information contained in MARC21 records (available from the Library of Congress and OCLC’s WorldCat database) on new book titles in various fields of technology over the last century. Further, Dr. Alexopoulos will discuss how the indices are related to inputs into knowledge production (such as scientific advances and R&D), and demonstrate that the measures are closely correlated with the commercialization date of new technologies. Finally, she will highlight a number of questions that the new indicators can help answer.

About the presenter:
Michelle Alexopoulos is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto. She joined the Economics Department at the University of Toronto in 1999 after completing her Ph.D. in economics at Northwestern University. She has authored a number of papers in the areas of macroeconomics, business cycles, labor markets and productivity and is on the advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Economics. She is a frequent speaker at academic conferences and seminars, and has presented her work to numerous policy makers at central banks in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Most recently her research has focused on creating and analyzing new measures of technical change for developed economies.

More Information

To register to attend in person, please e-mail disbrowk@oclc.org or call OCLC Research at (614) 764-6073 and indicate to indicate your name, affiliation and telephone number.

To register attend online via WebEx, click here:

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Background reading:

Additional details:

Michelle Alexopoulos' Web page:

Maps to OCLC are available online here:

Slides and audio of this presentation will be made available online at:

    For more information:

    Eric Childress
    Consulting Project Manager
    OCLC Research

    Melissa Renspie
    Senior Communications Officer
    OCLC Research