The Sources of Capital Misallocation
We develop a methodology to disentangle sources of capital ‘misallocation’, i.e. dispersion in value-added/capital. It measures the contributions of technological/informational frictions and a rich class of firm-specific factors. An application to Chinese manufacturing firms reveals that adjustment costs and uncertainty, while significant, explain only a modest fraction of the dispersion, which stems largely from other factors: a component correlated with productivity and a fixed effect. Adjustment costs are more salient for large US firms, though other factors still account for bulk of the dispersion. Technological/ markup heterogeneity explains a limited fraction in China, but a potentially large share in the US.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23129
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