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leading experts, policymakers
and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
spread across the UK.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.


Intangible capital and productivity growth: a UK-US industry comparison

Given the substantial evidence that intangible assets are a key part of understanding productivity, the purpose of this research is to look in more detail at different industries. By using an existing detailed database for the US, which includes intangibles, and developing a detailed database for the UK including intangibles, the project confronts a number of research questions.

Firstly, it documents productivity growth, spillovers, intangible and other capital accumulation between the US in the UK, using timely data with a strong focus on the productivity slow down particularly after the financial crisis and around Brexit. Secondly, it dives into some of the industries where the comparative nature of the data, and the interest in the particular industry, is extremely informative. A large part of the productivity slow down is concentrated in a small number of industries, such as manufacturing, financial services and oil and gas. Furthermore, much of the pre-financial crisis productivity speed-up in the US was concentrated in the retailing industry.

Notably, the study also looks at whether the pandemic changed the future path of a number of industries, such as retailing, hotels and restaurants.

Project leads: Jonathan Haskel (Imperial College Business School), Carol Corrado (The Conference Board)

Collaborator:  Peter Goodridge (The University of Manchester)