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Case Study 6: New insights utilising the Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment (BLADE) (Target 1.2, Measure 1.2.2)

BLADE combines business tax data and information from ABS surveys and other sources to produce an important data asset for Australia. The BLADE data asset contains data on all active businesses from 2001-02 to 2016-17, sourced from:

  • the Australian Taxation Office: Business Activity Statements (BAS), Business Income Tax (BIT) filings and Pay as You Go (PAYG) summaries
  • ABS surveys, including the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) and Management Capabilities Module (MCM), Economic Activity Survey (EAS), Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD), Private Non-Profit Expenditure on Research and Development (PNPERD), Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Government (GOVERD)
  • Intellectual Property Australia: Intellectual Property Longitudinal Research Data (IPLORD)
  • Government program data is also regularly integrated to the BLADE frame. The primary source of government program data is the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Some of these program data include: R&D Tax Incentives program, Entrepreneurs Program, Commercialisation Australia program, and Venture Capital program.

The BLADE data asset is being utilised by policy makers and researchers to provide insights into the performance of businesses in Australia; the impact of government programs on businesses; and understanding structural change in the Australian economy.

BLADE is specifically enabling important insights into wage growth in Australia. The RBA has examined the effects of changes in minimum and award wages on the labour market. The Australian Treasury is currently exploring the extent to which changes in the wages-productivity link and job switching patterns – can explain low aggregate wage growth in Australia. BLADE will help policy makers better understand one of the major macro-economic challenges of our time – low wage growth, which is critical due its bearing on individual wellbeing, tax revenues and potential implications for broader economic policy making in Australia.

Image of BLADE data set