An economic taxonomy is a system of classification of economic activity, including products, companies and industries. Some economists believe that the study of economic policy demands the use of a taxonomic/classificatory approach.
Widely used industry taxonomies include the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC); national and regional taxonomies such as the United States Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE), the United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities, the Russian Economic Activities Classification System (OKVED); and proprietary taxonomies such as the Industry Classification Benchmark and Global Industry Classification Standard. The international and national taxonomies are used by official statistical agencies. The proprietary taxonomies are often used in the financial services industry to group similar investment vehicles and to construct sectorial stock market indices.
Pavitt's Taxonomy classifies firms by their principal sources of innovation.
MasterFormat provides a taxonomy for organizing construction projects with the primary unit of differentiation consisting of a binary fail/no-fail tag. The majority of the users of MasterFormat fall into the first category.
- Day, A.C.L. (1955) The taxonomic approach to the study of economic policies. The American Economic Review 45: 64-78. http://www.jstor.org/pss/1811583