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A New Approach to the Valuation of Intangible Capital

In: Measuring Capital in the New Economy

  • Jason G. Cummins

In this paper, I argue that intangible capital is not a distinct input to production like physical capital or labor but rather it is the glue that creates value from other inputs. This perspective naturally leads to an empirical model in which intangible capital is defined in terms of adjustment costs. Estimates of these adjustment costs using firm-level panel data suggest that there are no appreciable intangibles associated with R&D and advertising whereas information technology creates intangibles with a 70% annual rate of return a sizable figure that is nevertheless much smaller than reported in previous studies. As a bridge to previous research, I show that much larger estimates can be obtained by using ordinary least squares, which ignores the possibility that the value of the .rm and its investment policy are simultaneously determined. Larger estimates can also be obtained by ignoring the possibility that the stock market overstates the value of intangible-intensive companies.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Carol Corrado & John Haltiwanger & Dan Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number corr05-1, June.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10618.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10618
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    3. Robert E. Hall, 1999. "The Stock Market and Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 7180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mark E. Doms & Wendy F. Dunn & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2004. "How Fast do Personal Computers Depreciate? Concepts and New Estimates," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18, pages 37-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Erik Brynjolfsson & Loren Hitt & Shinkyu Yang, 2002. "Intangible Assets: How the Interaction of Computers and Organizational Structure Affects Stock Market Valuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 137-198.
    6. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    7. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Nadiri, M Ishaq, 1989. "Research and Development and Intra-industry Spillovers: An Empirical Application of Dynamic Duality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 249-67, April.
    8. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    9. Fumio Hayashi & Tohru Inoue, 1990. "The Relation Between Firm Growth and Q with Multiple Capital Goods: Theory and Evidence from Panel Data on Japanese Firms," NBER Working Papers 3326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1999. "GMM estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," IFS Working Papers W99/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Is the Stock Market Overvalued?," NBER Working Papers 8077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. 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.
    16. Stephen R. Bond & Jason G. Cummins, 2000. "The Stock Market and Investment in the New Economy: Some Tangible Facts and Intangible Fictions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 61-124.
    17. Michael T. Kiley, 2000. "Stock prices and fundamentals in a production economy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
    19. 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.
    20. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-61, June.
    21. Hempell, Thomas, 2003. "Do Computers Call for Training? Firm-level Evidence on Complementarities Between ICT and Human Capital Investments," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-20, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    22. Leonard Nakamura, 1999. "Intangibles: what put the new in the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 3-16.
    23. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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