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IT and beyond: the contribution of heterogeneous capital to productivity

  • Daniel J. Wilson

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.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004-13.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2004-13
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  1. 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, 06.
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  8. Nathalie Greenana & Jacques Mairesse, 2000. "Computers And Productivity In France: Some Evidence," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 275-315.
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  19. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
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  25. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 1994. "Computers and Output Growth Revisited: How Big Is the Puzzle?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 273-334.
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  27. Brynjolfsson, Erik. & Hitt, Lorin M., 1994. "Information technology as a factor of production : the role of differences among firms," Working papers 3715-94. CCSTR ; #173., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  28. Daniel J. Wilson, 2001. "Is embodied technology the result of upstream R&D? industry-level evidence," Working Paper Series 2001-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  29. Baruch Lev & Suresh Radhakrishnan, 2003. "The Measurement of Firm-Specific Organization Capital," NBER Working Papers 9581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "Taxes and the Quality of Capital," NBER Working Papers 6731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  32. Chirinko, Robert S., 1993. "Multiple capital inputs, Q, and investment spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 907-928.
  33. Berndt, Ernst R. & Morrison, Catherine J., 1992. "High-tech capital formation and economic performance in U.S. manufacturing industries : an exploratory analysis," Working papers 3419-92., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  34. Randy A. Becker & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "Micro and Macro Data Integration: The Case of Capital," NBER Chapters, in: A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts, pages 541-610 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  36. Franklin M. Fisher, 1965. "Embodied Technical Change and the Existence of an Aggregate Capital Stock," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(4), pages 263-288.
  37. Stiroh, Kevin J, 2002. "Are ICT Spillovers Driving the New Economy?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(1), pages 33-57, March.
  38. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 737-68, June.
  39. Bill Lehr & Frank Lichtenberg, 1999. "Information technology and its impact on firm-level productivity: evidence from government and private data sources, 1977-1993," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 335-362, April.
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