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Intangible Capital, Corporate Valuation and Asset Pricing

  • Jean-Pierre Danthine

    (University of Lausanne, Swiss Finance Institute and CEPR)

  • Xiangrong JIN

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

Recent studies have found unmeasured intangible capital to be large and important. In this paper we observe that by nature intangible capital is also very different from physical capital. We find it plausible to argue that the accumulation process for intangible capital differs significantly from the process by which physical capital accumulates. We study the implications of this hypothesis for rational firm valuation and asset pricing using a two-sector general equilibrium model. Our main finding is that the properties of firm valuation and stock prices are very dependent on the assumed accumulation process for intangible capital. If one entertains the possibility that intangible investments translates into capital stochastically, we find that plausible levels of macroeconomic volatility are compatible with highly variable corporate valuations, P/E ratios and stock returns.

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Paper provided by Swiss Finance Institute in its series Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series with number 06-18.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp0618
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.SwissFinanceInstitute.ch
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  1. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "Is the stock market overvalued?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 20-40.
  2. John Laitner & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2003. "Technological Change and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1240-1267, September.
  3. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital and Technology: An Expanded Framework," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 11-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  6. Robert E. Hall, 2001. "The Stock Market and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1185-1202, December.
  7. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  8. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & John B. DONALDSON & Paolo SICONOLFI, 2005. "Distribution Risk and Equity Returns," FAME Research Paper Series rp161, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  10. Jean-Pierre Danthine & John B. Donaldson, 2002. "Labour Relations and Asset Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 41-64.
  11. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycles," Working Paper Series WP-99-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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