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Unmeasured Investment and the Puzzling US Boom in the 1990s

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan
  • Edward C. Prescott

Abstract

For the 1990s, the basic neoclassical growth model predicts a depressed economy, when in fact the US economy boomed. We extend the base model by introducing intangible investment and non-neutral technology change with respect to producing intangible investment goods and find that the 1990s are not puzzling in light of this new theory. There is microeconomic and macroeconomic evidence motivating our extension, and the theory's predictions are in conformity with US national accounts and capital gains. We compare accounting measures with corresponding measures for our model economy and find that standard accounting measures greatly understate the 1990s boom. (JEL E22, E23, O33, O47)

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Unmeasured Investment and the Puzzling US Boom in the 1990s," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 88-123, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:88-123
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.4.88
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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