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Unlocking Investment in Intangible Assets

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Thum-Thysen
  • Peter Voigt
  • Benat Bilbao-Osorio
  • Christoph Maier
  • Diana Ognyanova

Abstract

Intangible assets are at the heart of what makes firms competitive. They are vital for productivity and economic growth. A key question is whether the factors that tend to hold back investments in Europe are the same for tangible and intangible assets, i.e. is there a need for specific policy measures addressing intangible assets? This paper provides contextual information concerning intangible assets by discussing conceptual aspects, illustrating recent trends in terms of investments in intangibles and their corresponding impact on productivity and Gross Value Added (GVA) growth. With a view at specific characteristics of intangibles, potential drivers and barriers to investments in intangibles are identified and tested. Evidence from the presented empirical analyses suggests that including intangibles in a source-ofgrowth framework changes the corresponding growth patterns (GVA tends to grow more rapidly and capital deepening becomes the dominant source of growth). Looking at intangibles also helps to improve the understanding of TFP differentials. As regards investments, structural factors tend to matter generally more for intangibles whereas cyclical factors matter more for tangible assets. Against this backdrop, a series of policy-relevant messages has been derived. Overall, however, there is need to enlarge the general understanding of knowledge creation and to further improve the measurement of intangible assets in order to allow sound and evidence-based policy support.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Thum-Thysen & Peter Voigt & Benat Bilbao-Osorio & Christoph Maier & Diana Ognyanova, 2017. "Unlocking Investment in Intangible Assets," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 047, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:dispap:047
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francisca Castilla-Polo & M. Isabel Sánchez-Hernández, 2020. "Cooperatives and Sustainable Development: A Multilevel Approach Based on Intangible Assets," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(10), pages 1-14, May.
    2. Thum-Thysen, Anna & Voigt, Peter & Bilbao-Osorio, Beñat & Maier, Christoph & Ognyanova, Diana, 2019. "Investment dynamics in Europe: Distinct drivers and barriers for investing in intangible versus tangible assets?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 77-88.
    3. Anna Thum-Thysen & Rossella Cravetto & Jan Varchola, 2021. "Investing in People’s Competences A Cornerstone for Growth and Wellbeing in the EU," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 139, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    4. Guillaume Cléaud & Francisco de Castro Fernández & Jorge Durán Laguna & Lucia Granelli & Martin Hallet & Anne Jaubertie & Carlos Maravall Rodriguez & Diana Ognyanova & Balazs Palvolgyi & Tsvetan Tsali, 2019. "Cruising at Different Speeds: Similarities and Divergences between the German and the French Economies," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 103, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Marques, Mário & Pinho, Carlos & Montenegro, Tânia Menezes, 2019. "The effect of international income shifting on the link between real investment and corporate taxation," Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-1.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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