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The contribution of intangible assets to sectoral productivity growth in the EU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Mary Philomena O'Mahony, Thomas Niebel, Marianne Saam

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s49-s67
Issue numbers1
Early online date17 Nov 2016
Accepted/In press30 Nov 2015
E-pub ahead of print17 Nov 2016
Published22 Feb 2017


King's Authors


In this paper, we report on new data on intangible investment at the level of one‐digit NACE industries of ten European Union (EU) countries. The data are constructed as a sectoral breakdown by using as control totals the INTAN‐Invest database, which contains measures of intangible investment at the level of the aggregate business sector. With the sectoral data, we assess the contribution of intangibles to productivity growth based on growth accounting and econometric estimation of production functions. The growth accounting contribution of intangibles to labor productivity growth is generally highest in manufacturing and finance. The estimated output elasticity of intangibles lies between 0.1 and 0.2, above factor shares but considerably below values found in previous research using aggregate data.

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