-- JonathanHaskel - 22 Feb 2010

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Title Macro versus Micro Comparisons of Intangible Capital: The Case of Germany and the U.S.
Author Charles Hulten, Janet Hao & Kirsten Jaeger
Year 2009
Abstract A growing body of research has documented the rapid growth of investments by U.S. companies in research and development, sales and marketing, and organizational capital, and found that these investments, collectively called intangibles, are an important driver of output growth and company value. Similar studies have been carried out for Japan and selected countries in Europe, and generally find the intangibles are an important source of growth. However, these findings refer to the average performance of companies in their respective economies, and not the leading participants in the global economy. This paper looks behind these aggregate numbers to the experience of individual multinational companies with large research budgets in Germany and the U.S. Unlike the average German company that trailed the U.S. in the rate of R&D spending, German companies were found to be comparably R&D intensive but less intangible-intensive when organizational capital is taken into account. These results suggest that while German companies on average exhibit lower R&D intensities, at the margin of international competition they are hard to distinguish from their U.S. counterparts in this dimension.
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Topic revision: r4 - 16 Mar 2011, JonathanHaskel
 

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