Investment Behavior of U.S. Firms Over Heterogeneous Capital Goods: A Snapshot

10 Pages Posted: 13 May 2008

See all articles by Daniel J. Wilson

Daniel J. Wilson

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

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Previous research has shown that the composition of investment and capital can matter for investment dynamics and productivity. However, very little is known about the composition of investment at the micro level. The goal of this note is to help fill this knowledge gap by assessing the nature of the cross-firm variation in investment composition using micro data from the 1998 Annual Capital Expenditure Survey (ACES), a sample of roughly 30,000 firms drawn from the private, nonfarm economy. The data reveal substantial variation that can be characterized by heterogeneous lumpiness of investment in the asset-type dimension. The data also show that some of the variation in investment composition is due to the state of firms total investment; specifically, computers account for a significantly larger share of firms incremental investment than of lumpy investment.

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Daniel J., Investment Behavior of U.S. Firms Over Heterogeneous Capital Goods: A Snapshot. Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 54, Issue 2, pp. 269-278, June 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Daniel J. Wilson (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

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