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The stock market and capital accumulation

  • Robert E. Hall

The value of a firm's securities measures the value of the firm's productive assets. If the assets include only capital goods and not a permanent monopoly franchise, the value of the securities measures the value of the capital. Finally, if the price of the capital can be measured or inferred, the quantity of the firm's capital is the value divided by the price. A standard model of adjustment costs enables the inference of the price of installed capital. I explore the implications of the proposition using data from U.S. non-farm, non-financial corporations over the past 50 years. The data imply that corporations have formed large amounts of intangible capital, especially in the past decade. The resources for expanding capital have come from the output of the existing capital. An endogenous growth model can explain the basic facts about corporate performance, with a substantial but not implausible increase in the productivity of capital in the 1990s.

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Volume (Year): (2000)
Issue (Month): Apr ()
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2000:i:apr:x:3
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  8. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  9. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "Production Based Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 2776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 513-542.
  11. J. Nellie Liang & Steven A. Sharpe, 1999. "Share repurchases and employee stock options and their implications for S&P 500 share retirements and expected returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. William C. Brainard & John B. Shoven & Laurence Weiss, 1980. "The Financial Valuation of the Return to Capital," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(2), pages 453-512.
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  17. Bradford, D.F., 1989. "Market Value Us. Financial Accounting Measures Of National Saving," Papers 34, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  18. Martin Neil Baily, 1981. "Productivity and the Services of Capital and Labor," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 1-66.
  19. Padamja Singal & Stephen D. Smith, 1999. "Expected stock returns and volatility in a production economy: a theory and some evidence," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 99-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  20. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-62, April.
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  22. David F. Bradford, 1991. "Market Value versus Financial Accounting Measures of National Saving," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 15-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. William G. Gale & John Sabelhaus, 1999. "Perspectives on the Household Saving Rate," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(1), pages 181-224.
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  25. Naik, Vasanttilak, 1994. "Asset Prices in Dynamic Production Economies with Time-Varying Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(4), pages 781-801.
  26. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
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