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The Sources of Capital Misallocation

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  • Joel M. David
  • Venky Venkateswaran

Abstract

We develop a methodology to disentangle sources of capital ‘misallocation’, i.e. dispersion in value-added/capital. It measures the contributions of technological/informational frictions and a rich class of firm-specific factors. An application to Chinese manufacturing firms reveals that adjustment costs and uncertainty, while significant, explain only a modest fraction of the dispersion, which stems largely from other factors: a component correlated with productivity and a fixed effect. Adjustment costs are more salient for large US firms, though other factors still account for bulk of the dispersion. Technological/ markup heterogeneity explains a limited fraction in China, but a potentially large share in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel M. David & Venky Venkateswaran, 2017. "The Sources of Capital Misallocation," NBER Working Papers 23129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23129
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger, John & Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2004. "The effects of structural reforms on productivity and profitability enhancing reallocation: evidence from Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 333-371, December.
    2. Joel M. David & Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Venky Venkateswaran, 2016. "Information, Misallocation, and Aggregate Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 943-1005.
    3. Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
    4. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Elstner, Steffen, 2015. "Firm optimism and pessimism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 297-325.
    5. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger, John & Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2004. "The effects of structural reforms on productivity and profitabality enhancing reallocation: evidence from Colombia," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0408, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
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    Cited by:

    1. Diego Restuccia, 2018. "Misallocation and Aggregate Productivity across Time and Space," Working Papers tecipa-608, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Matthias Kehrig & Nicolas Vincent, 2017. "Do Firms Mitigate or Magnify Capital Misallocation? Evidence from Planet-Level Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 6401, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Yan Bai & Dan Lu & Xu Tian, 2018. "Do Financial Frictions Explain Chinese Firms’ Saving and Misallocation?," NBER Working Papers 24436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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