Intangible capital and economic growth

Chen, W., 2016, [Groningen]: University of Groningen, SOM research school. 141 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

Copy link to clipboard


  • Wen Chen
Modern economic growth stems in good part from investments in knowledge-based intangible assets, such as research and development (R&D), organisational know-how, product design, branding and marketing. By capitalising expenditures on these intangibles as business investments, this thesis investigates the role they play in productivity and growth from various perspectives. From firm-level analysis of potential knowledge spillovers of organisation capital to the complementary relationship between investments in intangibles and information and communications technology; from an aggregate macroeconomic analysis of how intangibles could account for part of income variation across countries to how intellectual property rights (IPR) protection could serve as a tool to attract knowledge-intensive imports. By combining different data sources and research methods, this thesis shows that (1) the knowledge about organisational know-how does not readily spill over between firms; (2) full productivity exploitation of investment in ICT requires complementary investments in R&D and organisational know-how; and (3) a significant portion of international income differences can be accounted for by investments in intangible capital. Lastly, countries with a slow pace of investment in intangibles could import more knowledge-intensive goods by strengthening their own IPR protection.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Award date30-Jun-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8916-5
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8915-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 33168072