Roth, F., Sen, A., Rammer, C. (2022). The role of intangibles in firm-level productivity – evidence from Germany. Industry and Innovation.

This paper analyses the impact of intangibles on firm-level productivity. Unlike previous studies, this study captures all dimensions of intangibles for both goods-producing and service industries. Based on data from the German part of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) for the period 2006 to 2018, the results show that intangible capital investment is equal in size to investment in tangible capital since the early 2000s. The paper finds a highly significant and positive relationship between intangible capital and output, with elasticities in line with previous findings for other large EU economies. This positive impact of intangibles on the firm-level productivity is driven by non-R&D intangibles, notably software & databases, training and advertising & marketing. While this finding holds for both goods and service sectors, the paper finds that non-R&D intangibles impact firm-level productivity more strongly in the services. Investment in R&D affects productivity only in the high-tech manufacturing sector.

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