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IT and beyond: the contribution of heterogeneous capital to productivity

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  • Daniel J. Wilson

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between capital composition and productivity using a unique and remarkably detailed data set on firm-level investment in the U.S. Using cross-sectional and longitudinal regressions, I find that several capital types, including computers, communications equipment, and software, are associated with current and subsequent years’ productivity. The implied marginal products are derived and compared to official data on rental prices; substantial differences exist for a number of key capital types. I also provide evidence of complementaries and substitutabilities among capital goods — a rejection of the common assumption of perfect substitutability.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel J. Wilson, 2004. "IT and beyond: the contribution of heterogeneous capital to productivity," Working Paper Series 2004-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2004-13
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    Cited by:

    1. Mirko Draca & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Productivity and ICT: A Review of the Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0749, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "The transatlantic productivity gap: Is R&D the main culprit?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1342-1371, November.
    3. Yvonne McNulty & Chris Brewster, 2016. "Theorizing the Meaning(s) of ‘Expatriate’: Establishing Boundary Conditions," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2016-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    4. Federici, Daniela & Saltari, Enrico & Wymer, Clifford, 2015. "Endogenizing the ICT sector: A multi-sector approach," MPRA Paper 66723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2011. "Read All about It!! What Happens Following a Technology Shock?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1144-1179, June.
    6. Daniel Wilson, 2008. "Investment Behavior Of U.S. Firms Over Heterogeneous Capital Goods: A Snapshot," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(2), pages 269-278, June.
    7. Kroll, Henning & Stahlecker, Thomas, 2015. "Prozess und Auswirkungen der Entwicklung von "Strategien intelligenter Spezialisierung" in deutschen Ländern," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 14-2015, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.
    8. Felipe, Jesus & McCombie, John, 2017. "The Debate about the Sources of Growth in East Asia after a Quarter of a Century: much ado about nothing," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 512, Asian Development Bank.
    9. Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2012. "The Transatlantic Productivity Gap: A Survey Of The Main Causes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 395-419, July.
    10. Jesus Felipe & John S.L. McCombie, 2013. "The Aggregate Production Function and the Measurement of Technical Change," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1975.
    11. Mark Thissen & Frank van Oort & Dario Diodato & Arjan Ruijs, 2013. "Regional Competitiveness and Smart Specialization in Europe," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15331.
    12. B. Atrostic, 2008. "Measuring U.S. innovative activity: business data at the U.S. Census Bureau," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 153-171, April.
    13. Bashir, Sadaf & Sadowski, B. M., 2014. "General purpose technologies: A survey, a critique and future research directions," 25th European Regional ITS Conference, Brussels 2014 101443, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    14. Brainerd, Elizabeth & Menon, Nidhiya, 2014. "Seasonal effects of water quality: The hidden costs of the Green Revolution to infant and child health in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 49-64.
    15. Vivarelli, Marco, 2012. "Innovation, Employment and Skills in Advanced and Developing Countries: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 6291, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Davide Castellani & Mariacristina Piva & Torben Schubert & Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "R&D and Productivity in the US and the EU: Sectoral Specificities and Differences in the Crisis," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2016-03, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    17. Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2013. "R&D, knowledge, economic growth and the transatlantic productivity gap," Chapters,in: Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography, chapter 11, pages 271-302 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Philip McCann & Ortega Ortega-Argilés, 2014. "The Role of the Smart Specialisation Agenda in a Reformed EU Cohesion Policy," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 15-32.
    19. Catherine L. Mann, 2012. "Information Technology Intensity, Diffusion, and Job Creation," Working Papers 46, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    20. Castellani, Davide & Piva, Mariacristina & Schubert, Torben & Vivarelli, Marco, 2016. "The Productivity Impact of R&D Investment: A Comparison between the EU and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 9937, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Santos-Arteaga, Francisco J. & Di Caprio, Debora & Tavana, Madjid & O’Connor, Aidan, 2017. "Innovation dynamics and labor force restructuring with asymmetrically developed national innovation systems," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 36-56.
    22. Eric C. Y. Ng, 2012. "What determines productivity performance of telecommunications services industry? A cross-country analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(18), pages 2359-2372, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information technology ; Capital ; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D29 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Other

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