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IT and beyond: the contribution of heterogeneous capital to productivity

  • Daniel 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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  25. 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.
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  29. Daniel Wilson, 2004. "Investment Behavior of U.S. Firms Over Heterogenous Capital Goods: A Snapshot," Working Papers 04-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  33. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
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