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IT and Beyond: The Contribution of Heterogeneous Capital to Productivity

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  • Wilson, Daniel J.

Abstract

This article explores the relationship between capital composition and productivity using a unique, detailed dataset on firm investment in the United States in the late 1990s. I develop a methodology for estimating the separate effects of multiple capital types in a production function framework. I back out the implied marginal products of each capital type and compare these with rental price data. I find that although most capital types earned normal returns, information and communications technology capital goods had marginal products substantially above their rental prices. The article also provides evidence of complementarities and substitutabilities among capital types and between capital types and labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, Daniel J., 2009. "IT and Beyond: The Contribution of Heterogeneous Capital to Productivity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 52-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:27:y:2009:p:52-70
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    Cited by:

    1. Sadaf Bashir & Bert Sadowski, 2014. "General Purpose Technologies: A Survey, a Critique and Future Research Directions," Working Papers 14-02, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2014.
    2. Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2013. "R&D, knowledge, economic growth and the transatlantic productivity gap," Chapters,in: Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography, chapter 11, pages 271-302 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Philip McCann & Ortega Ortega-Argilés, 2014. "The Role of the Smart Specialisation Agenda in a Reformed EU Cohesion Policy," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 15-32.
    4. Mirko Draca & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Productivity and ICT: A Review of the Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0749, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Catherine L. Mann, 2012. "Information Technology Intensity, Diffusion, and Job Creation," Working Papers 46, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    6. Mark Thissen & Frank van Oort & Dario Diodato & Arjan Ruijs, 2013. "Regional Competitiveness and Smart Specialization in Europe," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15331.
    7. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "The transatlantic productivity gap: Is R&D the main culprit?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1342-1371, November.
    8. Castellani, Davide & Piva, Mariacristina & Schubert, Torben & Vivarelli, Marco, 2016. "The Productivity Impact of R&D Investment: A Comparison between the EU and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 9937, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. 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.
    10. Daniel Wilson, 2008. "Investment Behavior Of U.S. Firms Over Heterogeneous Capital Goods: A Snapshot," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(2), pages 269-278, June.
    11. Kroll, Henning & Stahlecker, Thomas, 2015. "Prozess und Auswirkungen der Entwicklung von "Strategien intelligenter Spezialisierung" in deutschen Ländern," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 14-2015, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.
    12. Felipe, Jesus & McCombie, John, 2017. "The Debate about the Sources of Growth in East Asia after a Quarter of a Century: much ado about nothing," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 512, Asian Development Bank.
    13. Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2012. "The Transatlantic Productivity Gap: A Survey Of The Main Causes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 395-419, July.
    14. Yvonne McNulty & Chris Brewster, 2016. "Theorizing the Meaning(s) of ‘Expatriate’: Establishing Boundary Conditions," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2016-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    15. Santos-Arteaga, Francisco J. & Di Caprio, Debora & Tavana, Madjid & O’Connor, Aidan, 2017. "Innovation dynamics and labor force restructuring with asymmetrically developed national innovation systems," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 36-56.
    16. Eric C. Y. Ng, 2012. "What determines productivity performance of telecommunications services industry? A cross-country analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(18), pages 2359-2372, June.
    17. Brainerd, Elizabeth & Menon, Nidhiya, 2014. "Seasonal effects of water quality: The hidden costs of the Green Revolution to infant and child health in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 49-64.
    18. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2011. "Read All about It!! What Happens Following a Technology Shock?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1144-1179, June.
    19. Vivarelli, Marco, 2012. "Innovation, Employment and Skills in Advanced and Developing Countries: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 6291, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Davide Castellani & Mariacristina Piva & Torben Schubert & Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "R&D and Productivity in the US and the EU: Sectoral Specificities and Differences in the Crisis," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2016-03, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    21. Federici, Daniela & Saltari, Enrico & Wymer, Clifford, 2015. "Endogenizing the ICT sector: A multi-sector approach," MPRA Paper 66723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Jesus Felipe & John S.L. McCombie, 2013. "The Aggregate Production Function and the Measurement of Technical Change," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1975.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D29 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Other

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