The Two-Stage Decline in U.S. Nonfinancial Corporate Profitability, 1948-1986
The decline in the rate of return on nonfinancial corporate capital from 1948-1986 can be usefully divided into two distinct periods. From 1948-1972, a decline in the profit share accounts for most of the decline in the profit rate. From 1972-86, the profit share rose, and a decline in capital productivity accounts for the continued decline in the profit rate. Regression analysis of the trend structure and a decomposition of the factors accounting for the profit rate are used to support this thesis.