Criekingen, K. V., Bloch, C., Eklund, C. (2021). Measuring intangible assets — A review of the state of the art. Journal of Economic Surveys, 1-20.

This paper presents an overview of the state of the art in the field surrounding the measurement of “intangibles” for productivity analysis. The purpose of the paper is to inform indicator development and implementation in economic analysis, both at the micro and aggregated levels. The paper argues that the accounting and management literature provide important insights towards the further development of intangibles measurement agendas, and thus they are touched on in this review.

The paper finds that several studies have helped to further work on the measurement of intangible assets, both at the macro and micro level. This also includes both technical types of intangibles (such as R&D and software) and broader forms of intangible such as organizational competences. However, there is a large gap between the broad measurement of intangible assets in many studies and the more limited set of intangibles that are treated as capital formation in accounting practices or national accounts. This gap leads to both an underestimation of intangible assets and of productivity growth.

See the paper here.