IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Determinants and impacts of intangible investment: Evidence from Chinese private manufacturing firms


  • Shenglang Yang
  • Yixiao Zhou


Determinants of investment in intangibles by firms and the effects of intangible investment on firm productivity have been documented for developed economies. Evidence on these issues in emerging economies, however, is scarce. Using data from China Enterprise Survey 2012 conducted by the World Bank, this study examines the determinants and impacts of intangible investment by private manufacturing firms in China, thus shedding light on recent development of intangibles in one of the largest emerging economies in the world. It is found that more human capital, larger firm size and better institutional quality generally increase the propensity and the amount of intangible investment, and yet fiercer market competition decreases both the propensity and the amount to invest in intangibles. We also provide evidence that the three components of intangibles including research and development (R&D) investment, software investment and organization investment as well as ICT investment are positively correlated with firm productivity. Furthermore there is complementarity between software investment and organization investment. Implications for policies to enhance investment in intangibles are identified from the empirical results.

Suggested Citation

  • Shenglang Yang & Yixiao Zhou, 2017. "Determinants and impacts of intangible investment: Evidence from Chinese private manufacturing firms," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2017-649, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2017-649

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    intangible investment; firm productivity; Chinese manufacturing firms; firm-level data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2017-649. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.