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Labor Share Decline and the Capitalization of Intellectual Property Products

Author

Listed:
  • Yu Zheng

    (City University of Hong Kong)

  • Raul Santaeulalia

    (Washington University in St Louis)

  • Dongya Koh

    (University of Arkansas)

Abstract

We study the behavior of the US labor share over the past 65 years using new data from the post-2013 revision of the national income and product accounts and the fixed assets tables capitalizing intellectual property products (IPP). We find that IPP capital entirely explains the observed decline of the US labor share, which otherwise is secularly constant over the past 65 years for structures and equipment capital. The labor share decline simply reflects the fact that the US economy is undergoing a transition toward a larger IPP sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu Zheng & Raul Santaeulalia & Dongya Koh, 2015. "Labor Share Decline and the Capitalization of Intellectual Property Products," 2015 Meeting Papers 844, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:844
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    8. Marx, Magali & Mojon, Benoît & Velde, François R., 2021. "Why have interest rates fallen far below the return on capital?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(S), pages 57-76.
    9. Brueckner, Markus, 2017. "Rent extraction by capitalists," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 157-170.
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    11. Vladimír Peciar, 2021. "Empirical investigation into market power, markups and employment," MUNI ECON Working Papers 2021-03, Masaryk University, revised Feb 2023.
    12. Lee Ohanian & Musa Orak & Shihan Shen, 2023. "Revisiting Capital-Skill Complementarity, Inequality, and Labor Share," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 479-505, December.
    13. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2016. "The Postwar Conquest of the Home Ownership Dream," Working Papers 2016-07, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2016.
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    15. Germán Gutiérrez & Sophie Piton, 2020. "Revisiting the Global Decline of the (Non-housing) Labor Share," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 321-338, September.
    16. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Drautzburg, Thorsten & Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A., 2017. "Political Distribution Risk and Aggregate Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 12187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Marchese, Carla & Privileggi, Fabio, 2016. "A Competitive Idea-Based Growth Model with Shrinking Workers’ Income Share," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201604, University of Turin.
    18. Dominique Guellec, 2020. "Digital Innovation and the Distribution of Income," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 323-370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Weicheng Lian, 2019. "Technological Changes, Offshoring, and the Labor Share," IMF Working Papers 2019/142, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Musa Orak, 2017. "Capital-Task Complementarity and the Decline of the U.S. Labor Share of Income," International Finance Discussion Papers 1200, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    21. vom Lehn, Christian, 2018. "Understanding the decline in the U.S. labor share: Evidence from occupational tasks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 191-220.

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