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Measuring intangible assets in an emerging market economy: an application to Brazil

  • Dutz, Mark A.
  • Kannebley, Sergio Jr.
  • Scarpelli, Maira
  • Sharma, Siddharth

This paper measures intangible investment in Brazil. It estimates that during 2000-2008, annual business spending on intangible assets or knowledge-based capital in Brazil averaged about 4 percent of gross domestic product. While this is significantly lower than comparable rates for the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom, which hover around 11 percent, it is not too far below estimates for other developed countries such as Italy and Spain. Of the total expenditure on intangible assets in 2006, about 23 percent was spent on computer software and databases, 43 percent on innovative property (predominantly research and development and new product development in financial services), and 34 percent on economic competencies (which comprises branding, employee training and organization improvement). Brazil's share of spending on economic competencies is markedly lower than that observed in the United States and the United Kingdom, and the analysis finds it to be the slowest growing of the major intangible categories. Finally, having extended the intangible investment estimation methodology to produce more disaggregated (industry-level) estimates, the authors show that intangible investment is positively correlated with recent export growth and total factor productivity estimates across manufacturing industries. This suggests that intangible or knowledge-based capital, as measured here, can account for part of the hitherto unexplained component of productivity growth.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6142.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6142
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  1. Mauro Giorgio Marrano & Jonathan Haskel, 2006. "How Much Does the UK Invest in Intangible Assets?," Working Papers 578, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Bloom, Nicholas & Eifert, Benn & Mahajan, Aprajit & McKenzie, David & Roberts, John, 2010. "Does Management Matter?: Evidence from India," Research Papers 2074, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. Cecilia Iona Lasinio & Massimiliano Iommi & Stefano Manzocchi, 2011. "Intangible capital and Productivity Growth in European Countries," Working Papers LuissLab 1191, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  4. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1109, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Nazim Belhocine, 2009. "Treating Intangible Inputs As Investment Goods; The Impacton Canadian GDP," IMF Working Papers 09/240, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Ferreira, Susana & Hamilton, Kirk, 2010. "Comprehensive wealth, intangible capital, and development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5452, The World Bank.
  7. Gaganan Awano & Mark Franklin & Jonathan Haskel & Zafeira Kastrinaki, 2010. "Measuring investment in intangible assets in the UK: results from a new survey," Economic and Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(7), pages 66-71, July.
  8. Harald Edquist, 2011. "CAN INVESTMENT IN INTANGIBLES EXPLAIN THE SWEDISH PRODUCTIVITY BOOM IN THE 1990s?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 658-682, December.
  9. Kyoji Fukao & Tsutomu Miyagawa & Kentaro Mukai & Yukio Shinoda & Konomi Tonogi, 2008. "Intangible Investment in Japan: New Estimates and Contribution to Economic Growth," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-015, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  10. Mauro Giorgio Marrano & Jonathan Haskel & Gavin Wallis, 2009. "What Happened To The Knowledge Economy? Ict, Intangible Investment, And Britain'S Productivity Record Revisited," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 686-716, 09.
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