IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Technology capital and the U.S. current account

Listed author(s):
  • Ellen R. McGrattan
  • Edward C. Prescott

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates the return on investments of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. multinational companies over the period 1982?2006 averaged 9.4 percent annually after taxes; U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinationals averaged only 3.2 percent. Two factors distort BEA returns: technology capital and plant-specific intangible capital. Technology capital is accumulated know-how from intangible investments in R&D, brands, and organizations that can be used in foreign and domestic locations. Used abroad, it generates profits for foreign subsidiaries with no foreign direct investment (FDI). Plant-specific intangible capital in foreign subsidiaries is expensed abroad, lowering current profits on FDI and increasing future profits. We develop a multicountry general equilibrium model with an essential role for FDI and apply the BEA?s methodology to construct economic statistics for the model economy. We estimate that mismeasurement of intangible investments accounts for over 60 percent of the difference in BEA returns.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=1116
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/SR/SR406.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 406.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:406
Contact details of provider: Postal:
90 Hennepin Avenue, P.O. Box 291, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0291

Phone: (612) 204-5000
Web page: http://minneapolisfed.org/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/pubs/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window

  1. Ayanian, Robert, 1975. "Advertising and Rate of Return," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 479-506, October.
  2. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Average Debt and Equity Returns: Puzzling?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000367, David K. Levine.
  3. Alessandra Fogli & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "The "Great Moderation" and the US External Imbalance," NBER Working Papers 12708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Chris Telmer, 2005. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," 2005 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
  6. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," NBER Working Papers 13768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bloch, Harry, 1974. "Advertising and Profitability: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 267-286, Part I, M.
  8. McGrattan, Ellen R. & Prescott, Edward C., 2009. "Openness, technology capital, and development," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2454-2476, November.
  9. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0606, CEPREMAP.
  10. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalance," 2007 Meeting Papers 746, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Technology Capital and the US Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1493-1522, September.
  12. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Richard Clarida, "undated". "The Unsustainable U S Current Account Position Revisited," Working Paper 14901, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  13. Carol Corrado & John Haltiwanger & Dan Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number corr05-1.
  14. Carol Corrado & John Haltiwanger & Daniel Sichel, 2005. "Introduction to "Measuring Capital in the New Economy"," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Taxes, Regulations, and the Value of U.S. and U.K. Corporations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000715, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2014. "Do intangible assets explain high U.S. foreign direct investment returns?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 159-171.
  17. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2008. "Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms," Working Papers 08-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  18. Demsetz, Harold, 1979. "Accounting for Advertising as a Barrier to Entry," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 345-360, July.
  19. Carol Corrado & Charles R. Hulten & Daniel E. Sichel, 2004. "Measuring capital and technology: an expanded framework," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-65, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Hausmann, Ricardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2006. "Global Imbalances or Bad Accounting? The Missing Dark Matter in the Wealth of Nations," Working Paper Series rwp06-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Technology Capital and the US Current Account (AER 2010) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:406. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jannelle Ruswick)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.