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Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 545 Abstract:
Because ﬁrms invest heavily in R&D, software, brands, and other intangible assets—at a rate close to that of tangible assets—changes in measured GDP, which does not include all intangible investments, understate the actual changes in total output. If changes in the labor input are more precisely measured, then it is possible to observe little change in measured total factor productivity (TFP) coincidentally with large changes in hours and investment. This mismeasurement leaves business cycle modelers with large and unexplained labor wedges accounting for most of the ﬂuctuations in aggregate data. To address this issue, I incorporate intangible investments into a multi-sector general equilibrium model and parameterize income and cost shares using data from an updated U.S. input and output table, with intangible investments reassigned from intermediate to ﬁnal uses. I employ maximum likelihood methods and quarterly observations on sectoral gross outputs for the United States over the period 1985–2014 to estimate processes for latent sectoral TFPs—that have common and sector-speciﬁc components. Aggregate hours are not used to estimate TFPs, but the model predicts changes in hours that compare well with the actual hours series and account for roughly two-thirds of its standard deviation. I ﬁnd that sector-speciﬁc shocks and industry linkages play an important role in accounting for ﬂuctuations and comovements in aggregate and industry-level U.S. data, and I ﬁnd that the model’s common component of TFP is not correlated at business cycle frequencies with the standard measures of aggregate TFP used in the macroeconomic literature.
Palabra clave: Intangible investments, Input-output linkages, Total factor productivity, and Business cycles Tema: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, D57 - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium: Input-Output Tables and Analysis, and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Atkeson, Andrew and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 291 Abstract:
Manufacturing plants have a clear life cycle: they are born small, grow substantially as they age, and eventually die. Economists have long thought that this life cycle is driven by the accumulation of plant-specific knowledge, here called organization capital. Theory suggests that where plants are in the life cycle determines the size of the payments, or dividends, plant owners receive from organization capital. These payments are compensation for the interest cost to plant owners of waiting for their plants to grow. We build a quantitative growth model of the life cycle of plants and use it, along with U.S. data, to infer the overall size of these payments. They turn out to be quite large—more than one-third the size of the payments plant owners receive from physical capital, net of new investment, and more than 40% of payments from all forms of intangible capital.
Tema: E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, B41 - Economic Methodology, E25 - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution, and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 406 Abstract:
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates the return on investments of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. multinational companies over the period 1982–2006 averaged 9.4 percent annually after taxes; U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinationals averaged only 3.2 percent. Two factors distort BEA returns: technology capital and plant-specific intangible capital. Technology capital is accumulated know-how from intangible investments in R&D, brands, and organizations that can be used in foreign and domestic locations. Used abroad, it generates profits for foreign subsidiaries with no foreign direct investment (FDI). Plant-specific intangible capital in foreign subsidiaries is expensed abroad, lowering current profits on FDI and increasing future profits. We develop a multicountry general equilibrium model with an essential role for FDI and apply the BEA’s methodology to construct economic statistics for the model economy. We estimate that mismeasurement of intangible investments accounts for over 60 percent of the difference in BEA returns.
Tema: F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements and F23 - Multinational Firms; International Business
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 407 Abstract:
Appendix A provides firm-level and industry-level evidence that is consistent with several key features of our model, including the predictions that rates of return increase with a firm’s intangible investments and foreign affiliate rates of return increase with age and with their parents’ R&D intensity. Appendix B provides details for the computation of our model’s equilibrium paths, the construction of model national and international accounts, and the sensitivity of our main findings to alternative parameterizations of the model. We demonstrate that the main finding of our paper—namely, that the mismeasurement of capital accounts for roughly 60 percent of the gap in FDI returns—is robust to alternative choices of income shares, depreciation rates, and tax rates, assuming the same procedure is followed in setting exogenous parameters governing the model’s current account. Appendix C demonstrates that adding technology capital and locations to an otherwise standard two-country general equilibrium model has a large impact on the predicted behavior of labor productivity and net exports.
Tema: F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements and F23 - Multinational Firms; International Business
Creator: Thomas, Julia Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 302 Abstract:
Previous research has suggested that discrete and occasional plant-level capital adjustments have significant aggregate implications. In particular, it has been argued that changes in plants’ willingness to invest in response to aggregate shocks can at times generate large movements in total investment demand. In this study, I re-assess these predictions in a general equilibrium environment. Specifically, assuming nonconvex costs of capital adjustment, I derive generalized (S,s) adjustment rules yielding lumpy plant-level investment within an otherwise standard equilibrium business cycle model. In contrast to previous partial equilibrium analyses, model results reveal that the aggregate effects of lumpy investment are negligible. In general equilibrium, households’ preference for relatively smooth consumption profiles offsets changes in aggregate investment demand implied by the introduction of lumpy plant-level investment. As a result, adjustments in wages and interest rates yield quantity dynamics that are virtually indistinguishable from the standard model.
Palabra clave: Business Cycles, Lumpy Investment, and (S,s) Adjustment Tema: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 369 Abstract:
For the 1990s, the basic neoclassical growth model predicts a depressed economy, when in fact the U.S. economy boomed. We extend the base model by introducing intangible investment and non-neutral technology change with respect to producing intangible investment goods and find that the 1990s are not puzzling in light of this new theory. There is micro and macro evidence motivating our extension, and the theory’s predictions are in conformity with U.S. national accounts and capital gains. We compare accounting measures with corresponding measures for our model economy. We find that standard accounting measures greatly understate the 1990s boom.
Palabra clave: Intangible Investment, Hours, and Productivity Tema: O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes, and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Khan, Aubhik and Thomas, Julia Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 352 Abstract:
We solve equilibrium models of lumpy investment wherein establishments face persistent shocks to common and plant-specific productivity. Nonconvex adjustment costs lead plants to pursue generalized (S, s) rules with respect to capital; thus, their investments are lumpy. In partial equilibrium, this yields substantial skewness and kurtosis in aggregate investment, though, with differences in plant-level productivity, these nonlinearities are far less pronounced. Moreover, nonconvex costs, like quadratic adjustment costs, increase the persistence of aggregate investment, yielding a better match with the data. In general equilibrium, aggregate nonlinearities disappear, and investment rates are very persistent, regardless of adjustment costs. While the aggregate implications of lumpy investment change substantially in equilibrium, the inclusion of fixed costs or idiosyncratic shocks makes the average distribution of plant investment rates largely invariant to market-clearing movements in real wages and interest rates. Nonetheless, we find that understanding the dynamics of plant-level investment requires general equilibrium analysis.
Palabra clave: Establishment investment, (S,s), Lumpy investment, Nonlinearities, and Policies Tema: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Khan, Aubhik and Thomas, Julia Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 306 Abstract:
Recent empirical analysis has found nonlinearities to be important in understanding aggregated investment. Using an equilibrium business cycle model, we search for aggregate nonlinearities arising from the introduction of nonconvex capital adjustment costs. We find that, while such costs lead to nontrivial nonlinearities in aggregate investment demand, equilibrium investment is effectively unchanged. Our finding, based on a model in which aggregate fluctuations arise through exogenous changes in total factor productivity, is robust to the introduction of shocks to the relative price of investment goods.
Palabra clave: Adjustment costs, Lumpy investment, Nonlinearities, and Business cycles Tema: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Khan, Aubhik and Thomas, Julia Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 329 Abstract:
We develop an equilibrium business cycle model where producers of final goods pursue generalized (S,s) inventory policies with respect to intermediate goods due to nonconvex factor adjustment costs. When calibrated to reproduce the average inventory-to-sales ratio in postwar U.S. data, our model explains over half of the cyclical variability of inventory investment. Moreover, inventory accumulation is strongly procyclical, and production is more volatile than sales, as in the data.
The comovement between inventory investment and final sales is often interpreted as evidence that inventories amplify aggregate fluctuations. In contrast, our model economy exhibits a business cycle similar to that of a comparable benchmark without inventories, though we do observe somewhat higher variability in employment, and lower variability in consumption and investment. Thus, our equilibrium analysis reveals that the presence of inventories does not substantially raise the cyclical variability of production, because it dampens movements in final sales.
Palabra clave: (S,s) inventories and Business cycles Tema: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Bai, Yan, and Zhang, Jing Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 392 Abstract:
This paper studies the impact of cross-country variation in financial market development on firms’ financing choices and growth rates using comprehensive firm-level datasets. We document that in less financially developed economies, small firms grow faster and have lower debt to asset ratios than large firms. We then develop a quantitative model where financial frictions drive firm growth and debt financing through the availability of credit and default risk. We parameterize the model to the firms’ financial structure in the data and show that financial restrictions can account for the majority of the difference in growth rates between firms of different sizes across countries.
Palabra clave: Default risk, Cross-country firm level dataset, and Firm investment and growth Tema: F20 - International Factor Movements and International Business: General and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity