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Investment Behavior of U.S. Firms Over Heterogenous Capital Goods: A Snapshot

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  • Daniel Wilson

Abstract

Recent research has indicated that investment in certain capital types, such as computers, has fostered accelerated productivity growth and enabled a fundamental reorganization of the workplace. However, remarkably little is known about the composition of investment at the micro level. This paper takes an important first step in filling this knowledge gap by looking at the newly available micro data from the 1998 Annual Capital Expenditure Survey (ACES), a sample of roughly 30,000 firms drawn from the private, nonfarm economy. The paper establishes a number of stylized facts. Among other things, I find that in contrast to aggregate data the typical firm tends to concentrate its capital expenditures in a very limited number of capital types, though which types are chosen varies greatly from firm to firm. In addition, computers account for a significantly larger share of firms’ incremental investment than they do of lumpy investment.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2004/CES-WP-04-19.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 04-19.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:04-19

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Keywords: Capital Heterogeneity; Investment;

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References

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  1. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1999. "Aggregate investment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 813-862 Elsevier.
  2. Daniel Wilson, 2004. "IT and Beyond: The Contribution of Heterogenous Capital to Productivity," Working Papers 04-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," NBER Working Papers 4887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Francesco Caselli & Daniel Wilson, 2003. "Importing technology," Working Paper Series 2003-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Laura Power, 1998. "The Missing Link: Technology, Investment, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 300-313, May.
  7. John Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Julia Lane & Paul Lengermann & Kristin McCue & Kevin McKinney & Kristin Sandusky, 2002. "The Relation among Human Capital, Productivity and Market Value: Building Up from Micro Evidence," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. John C. Haltiwanger, 1997. "Measuring and analyzing aggregate fluctuations: the importance of building from microeconomic evidence," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-78.
  9. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2000. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," NBER Working Papers 7465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  11. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
  12. Dmitriy Stolyarov & Boyan Jovanovic, 2000. "Optimal Adoption of Complementary Technologies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 15-29, March.
  13. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
  14. Carol Corrado & John Haltiwanger & Dan Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number corr05-1, July.
  15. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-37, March.
  16. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
  17. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Wilson, 2004. "IT and Beyond: The Contribution of Heterogenous Capital to Productivity," Working Papers 04-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Randy A. Becker & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "Micro and Macro Data Integration: The Case of Capital," NBER Chapters, in: A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts, pages 541-610 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. B. Atrostic, 2008. "Measuring U.S. innovative activity: business data at the U.S. Census Bureau," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 153-171, April.

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