Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Department seminar. Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis is an Assistant Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He will present a combination of two papers entitled "Labor Share Decline and Intellectual Property Products Capital" co-authored by Dongya Koh and Yu Zheng, and "Growth Facts with Intellectual Property Products: An Exploration of 31 OECD New National Accounts" co-authored by Sangmin Aum and Dongya Koh.
Abstaract (Labor Share Decline and Intellectual Property Products Capital)
We study the behavior of the US labor share over the past 70 years. We ﬁnd that the capitalization of intellectual property products in the national income and product accounts entirely explains—in a purely accounting sense—the observed decline of the US labor share. We assess the implications of this result for the US macroeconomic model and discuss the way forward.
Abstract (Growth Facts with Intellectual Property Products: An Exploration of 31 OECD New National Accounts)
We document a rise of intellectual property products (IPP) captured by up-to-date national accounts in 31 OECD countries. These countries gradually adopt the new system of national accounts (SNA08) that capitalizes IPP—which was previously treated as an intermediate expense in the pre-SNA93 accounting framework. We examine how the capitalization of IPP aﬀects stylzed growth facts and the big ratios (Kaldor, 1957, Jones, 2016). We ﬁnd that the capitalization of IPP generates (a) a decline of the accounting labor share, (b) an increase in the capital-to-output ratio across time, and (c) an increase in the rate of return to capital across time. The key accounting assumption behind the IPP capitalization implemented by national accounts is that the share of IPP rents that are attributed to capital, χ, is equal to one. That is, national accounts assume that IPP rents are entirely owed to capital. We question this accounting assumption and apply an alternative split of IPP rents between capital and labor based on the cost structure of R&D as in Koh et al. (2018). We ﬁnd that this alternative split generates a secularly trendless labor share, a constant capital-to-output ratio, and a constant rate of return across time. We discuss the implications of these new measures of IPP capital—conditional on χ—for cross-country income per capita diﬀerences using standard development and growth accounting exercises.
Host: Hans Holter