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Business capital accumulation and the user cost: is there a heterogeneity bias?

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Abstract

Empirical models of capital accumulation estimated on aggregate data series are based on the assumption that capital asset types respond in the same way to cost variables. Likewise, aggregate models do not consider potential heterogeneity in investment behaviour originating on the demand side for capital, e.g. at the sector level. We show that the underlying assumption of homogeneity may indeed lead to misspecification of standard aggregate investment models. Using data from 23 sectors in 10 OECD countries over the period 1984-2007, we adopt a fully disaggregated approach – by asset types and sectors – to estimate the responsiveness of investment to the tax-adjusted user cost of capital. While accounting for the different sources of heterogeneity, we find that fixed capital accumulation is significantly affected by changes in the user cost. However, the estimated substitution elasticities are smaller than one - the benchmark value under a Cobb-Douglas production function. We do not find robust evidence that the long run substitution elasticities are statistically different across asset types.

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  • Fatica, Serena, 2017. "Business capital accumulation and the user cost: is there a heterogeneity bias?," Working Papers 2017-11, Joint Research Centre, European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrs:wpaper:201711
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    Cited by:

    1. Claire Giordano & Marco Marinucci & Andrea Silvestrini, 2022. "Assessing the usefulness of survey‐based data in forecasting firms' capital formation: Evidence from Italy," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(3), pages 491-513, April.
    2. Claire Giordano & Marco Marinucci & Andrea Silvestrini, 2021. "Forecasting corporate capital accumulation in Italy: the role of survey-based information," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 596, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Bruno Ćorić & Vladimir Šimić, 2021. "Economic disasters and aggregate investment," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 61(6), pages 3087-3124, December.
    4. Ramón E. López & Pablo Gutiérrez Cubillos & Eugenio Figueroa, 2020. "The Tax Paradox and Weak Tax Neutrality," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(3), pages 1150-1169, January.
    5. Thanh, Su Dinh & Canh, Nguyen Phuc, 2020. "Taxation and capital formation: Non-linear effects and asymmetry between developing and developed countries," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 22(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital accumulation; user cost of capital; corporate taxation; panel data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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