Can Intangible Capital Explain Cyclical Movements in the Labor Wedge?
Abstract: Intangible capital is an important factor of production in modern economies that is generally neglected in business cycle analyses. We demonstrate that intangible capital can have a substantial impact on business cycle dynamics, especially if the intangible is complementary with production capacity. We focus on customer capital: the capital embodied in the relationships a firm has with its customers. Introducing customer capital into a standard real business cycle model generates a volatile and countercyclical labor wedge, due to a mismeasured marginal product of labor. We also provide new evidence on cyclical variation in selling effort to discipline the exercise.
File format is application/pdf
Description: Full text
Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Part of Series: Working Paper Series
Publication Date: 2014-01-15
Pages: 20 pages