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The paper examines the size and productivity of total intangible capital relative to total tangible capital for a large panel of Italian Manufacturing firms. In the analysis, the authors decompose total intangibles in two different ways: in intangibles expensed in firms' current accounts (as usually considered in empirical studies) versus intangible capitalized in firms' balance sheets (usually not considered); and in "Intellectual capital" (i.e. R&D expenditures, and patenting and related costs) versus "Customer capital" (i.e., advertising expenditure, and trademarks and related costs). They systematically assess the robustness of the results by using different specifications of the production functions implying different elasticities of substitution between tangible and intangible capital, and comparing different panel data estimates.
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