Intangible Assets and Firm-Level Productivity

45 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2015

See all articles by Dirk Crass

Dirk Crass

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Bettina Peters

Center for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Date Written: December 15, 2014

Abstract

Firms invest huge amounts into intangible assets. This paper explores to which extent different kinds of intangible assets are conducive to firm-level productivity. Our study contributes to the literature by simultaneously comparing productivity effects of innovative capital, human capital, branding capital and organizational capital and testing whether complementarity or substitutability exists between different intangible assets. Using panel data for the period 2006-2010, our econometric estimates confirm strong positive productivity effects of human capital and branding capital. Results for innovative capital are found to be mixed. While R&D has a strong positive impact on productivity, design & licenses and patents show only weak productivity enhancing effects. The same holds for organizational capital. We furthermore detect several complementarities among different kind of intangible assets. Our results are robust to various parametric (OLS, FE) and non-parametric (Olley and Pakes, Levinsohn and Petrin) productivity estimation methods.

Keywords: Intangible capital, productivity, R&D, marketing, firm-specific human capital, organizational capital, patents, trademarks

JEL Classification: O33, C23, J24, L22

Suggested Citation

Crass, Dirk and Peters, Bettina, Intangible Assets and Firm-Level Productivity (December 15, 2014). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 14-120, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562302 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2562302

Dirk Crass (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Bettina Peters

Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Germany
+496211235174 (Phone)
+496211235170 (Fax)

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