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Can Intangible Capital Explain Cyclical Movements in the Labor Wedge?

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  • Leena Rudanko

    (Boston University)

Abstract

Intangible capital is an important factor of production in modern economies that is generally neglected in business cycle analyses. We demonstrate that intangible capital can have a substantial impact on business cycle dynamics, especially if the intangible is complementary with production capacity. We focus on customer capital: the capital embodied in the relationships a firm has with its customers. Introducing customer capital into a standard real business cycle model generates a volatile and countercyclical labor wedge, due to a mismeasured marginal product of labor. We also provide new evidence on cyclical variation in selling effort to discipline the exercise.

Suggested Citation

  • Leena Rudanko, 2014. "Can Intangible Capital Explain Cyclical Movements in the Labor Wedge?," 2014 Meeting Papers 149, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:149
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 223-250, January.
    2. Robert Shimer, 2009. "Convergence in Macroeconomics: The Labor Wedge," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 280-297, January.
    3. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Unmeasured Investment and the Puzzling US Boom in the 1990s," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 88-123, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:red:issued:17-331 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Atesagaoglu, Orhan Erem & Elgin, Ceyhun, 2015. "Cyclicality of labor wedge and informal sector," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 141-146.
    3. Munkacsi, Zsuzsa, 2015. "Fiscal austerity, unemployment and family firms," Discussion Papers 06/2015, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    4. repec:fip:fedpei:00017 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:jmacro:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:184-198 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pau Roldan & Sophia Gilbukh, 2017. "Firm Dynamics and Pricing under Customer Capital Accumulation," 2017 Meeting Papers 1235, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Macnamara Patrick, 2016. "Understanding entry and exit: a business cycle accounting approach," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 47-91, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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