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A new approach to the valuation of intangible capital

  • Jason G. Cummins

Intangible capital is not a distinct factor of production as is physical capital or labor. Rather it is the "glue" that creates value from other factor inputs. This perspective naturally suggests an empirical model in which intangible capital is defined in terms of adjustment costs. My estimates of these adjustment costs from firm-level panel data suggest that no appreciable intangibles are associated with R&D and advertising, whereas information technology creates intangibles with a 72% annual rate of return--a sizable figure that is nevertheless much smaller than that reported in previous studies. To build a bridge to previous research, I show that much larger estimates can be obtained with ordinary least squares, a method that ignores the possibility that the value of the firm and its investment policy are simultaneously determined.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-17.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-17
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  1. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-61, June.
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  7. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. 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.
  9. Hempell, Thomas, 2003. "Do Computers Call for Training? Firm-level Evidence on Complementarities Between ICT and Human Capital Investments," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-20, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
  11. Jacques Mairesse & Bronwyn H. Hall, 1996. "Estimating the Productivity of Research and Development: An Exploration of GMM Methods Using Data on French & United States Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 5501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  19. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1999. "Intangibles: what put the new in the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 3-16.
  20. Martin Neil Baily, 1981. "Productivity and the Services of Capital and Labor," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 1-66.
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  22. Erik Brynjolfsson & Loren Hitt & Shinkyu Yang, 2002. "Intangible Assets: How the Interaction of Computers and Organizational Structure Affects Stock Market Valuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 137-198.
  23. Hayashi, Fumio & Inoue, Tohru, 1991. "The Relation between Firm Growth and Q with Multiple Capital Goods: Theory and Evidence from Panel Data on Japanese Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 731-53, May.
  24. Michael T. Kiley, 2000. "Stock prices and fundamentals in a production economy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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