Can Investment in Intangibles Explain the Swedish Productivity Boom in the 1990s?
AbstractAfter a severe crisis in the early 1990s, the Swedish economy experienced a boom in productivity growth. According to economists there have been primarily three explanations for the fast productivity growth in 1995–2004: Market reforms, recovery from the crisis and the impact of information and communication technology (ICT). This paper offers an alternative view by recognizing that firms make substantial investment in intangible assets such as R&D, design, advertising etc. These investments are not classified as investment in the National Accounts, where only tangible assets are defined as investment. This paper provides estimates of investment in intangible assets and uses the growth accounting framework to analyze the Swedish productivity boom. The results show that investment in intangibles was approximately 246 bn SEK in 2004 or 9 percent of GDP. Moreover, intangible capital accounted for almost 50 percent of labor productivity growth in the Swedish business sector 1995–2004. Thus, investment in intangibles was an important source to the Swedish productivity boom in 1995–2004.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 809.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 23 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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Intangibles; Investment; Economic growth;
Other versions of this item:
- Harald Edquist, 2011. "CAN INVESTMENT IN INTANGIBLES EXPLAIN THE SWEDISH PRODUCTIVITY BOOM IN THE 1990s?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 658-682, December.
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- O52 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-10 (All new papers)
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- Dutz, Mark A. & Kannebley, Sergio Jr. & Scarpelli, Maira & Sharma, Siddharth, 2012. "Measuring intangible assets in an emerging market economy: an application to Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6142, The World Bank.
- Lars Calmfors, 2012. "Sweden - from Macroeconomic Failure to Macroeconomic Success," CESifo Working Paper Series 3790, CESifo Group Munich.
- Martin Falk, 2013. "New empirical findings for international investment in intangible assets," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 30, WWWforEurope.
- Edquist, Harald, 2011. "Intangible Investment and the Swedish Manufacturing and Service Sector Paradox," Working Paper Series 863, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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