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A New Approach to the Valuation of Intangible Capital

In: Measuring Capital in the New Economy

  • Jason G. Cummins

Intangible capital is not a distinct factor of production as is physical capital or labor. Rather it is the "glue" that creates value from other factor inputs. This perspective naturally suggests an empirical model in which intangible capital is defined in terms of adjustment costs. My estimates of these adjustment costs from firm-level panel data suggest that no appreciable intangibles are associated with R&D and advertising, whereas information technology creates intangibles with a 72% annual rate of return--a sizable figure that is nevertheless much smaller than that reported in previous studies. To build a bridge to previous research, I show that much larger estimates can be obtained with ordinary least squares, a method that ignores the possibility that the value of the firm and its investment policy are simultaneously determined.

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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, Abril.
  • 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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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "Is the stock market overvalued?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 20-40.
    4. Robert E. Hall, 2001. "The Stock Market and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1185-1202, December.
    5. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mark E. Doms & Wendy E. Dunn & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2004. "How Fast Do Personal Computers Depreciate? Concepts and New Estimates," NBER Working Papers 10521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1986. "Research and Development and Intraindustry Spillovers: An Empirical Application of Dynamic Duality," NBER Working Papers 2002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Stephen Bond, 2000. "Noisy Share Prices and the Q Model of Investment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1320, Econometric Society.
    10. 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.
    11. Hall, Bronwyn H., 1993. "Industrial Research During the 1980s: Did the Rate of Return Fall?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt33d879r9, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
    15. Leonard Nakamura, 1999. "Intangibles: what put the new in the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 3-16.
    16. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
    17. Jerry Hausman, 2001. "Mismeasured Variables in Econometric Analysis: Problems from the Right and Problems from the Left," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 57-67, Fall.
    18. 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.
    19. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-61, June.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.).
    22. 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.
    23. 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.
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