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Intangible Capital and Productivity: An Exploration on a Panel of Italian Manufacturing Firms

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  • Maria Elena Bontempi
  • Jacques Mairesse

Abstract

The paper examines the size and productivity of total intangible capital relative to total tangible capital for a large panel of Italian Manufacturing firms. In the analysis, we decompose total intangibles in two different ways: in intangibles expensed in firms' current accounts (as usually considered in empirical studies) versus intangible capitalized in firms' balance sheets (usually not considered); and in "intellectual capital" (i.e. R&D expenditures, and patenting and related costs) versus "customer capital" (i.e., advertising expenditure, and trademarks and related costs). We systematically assess the robustness of our results by using different specifications of the production functions implying different elasticities of substitution between tangible and intangible capital, and comparing different panel data estimates. Our results underscore that firms' accounting information on intangible investments is genuinely informative, showing that intangible capital and its different components are at least as productive as tangible capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14108.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14108

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References

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  1. Thomas Hatzichronoglou, 1997. "Revision of the High-Technology Sector and Product Classification," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 1997/2, OECD Publishing.
  2. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 02, Stata Users Group.
  5. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 1992. "Exploring the Relationship Between R&D and Productivity in French Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jacques Mairesse & Bronwyn H. Hall, 1996. "Estimating the Productivity of Research and Development: An Exploration of GMM Methods Using Data on French & United States Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 5501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. M. Battisti & F. Belloc & M. Del Gatto, 2012. "Unbundling technology adoption and tfp at the firm level. Do intangibles matter?," Working Paper CRENoS 201233, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  2. Štěpán Jurajda & Juraj Stančík, 2013. "Organization and Firm Performance in the Czech Republic," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(1), pages 85-110.
  3. Giuliano CONTI & Alessia LO TURCO & Daniela MAGGIONI, 2012. "Rethinking the import-productivity nexus for Italian manufacturing," Working Papers 381, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  4. Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci & Marco Pontis, 2012. "Intangible capital and firms' productivity," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 377-402, April.
  5. Martin Falk, 2013. "New empirical findings for international investment in intangible assets," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 30, WWWforEurope.
  6. A. Arrighetti & F. Landini & A. Lasagni, 2012. "Intangible assets dynamics and firm behaviour," Economics Department Working Papers 2012-EP05, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  7. Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci & Marco Pontis, 2011. "Intangible capital and firms productivity (refereed paper)," ERSA conference papers ersa10p496, European Regional Science Association.
  8. M. E. Bontempi & I. Mammi, 2012. "A strategy to reduce the count of moment conditions in panel data GMM," Working Papers wp843, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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