출처: Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Vol. 2000, No. 2, (2000)
by Robert E. Hall et al.
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(...) This paper pursues the argument that I have developed elsewhere that today's high stock market valuations should be taken seriously as a measure of the resources owned by corporations.[주1] I introduce a new kind of capitalㅡe-capitalㅡto characterize these resources of e-capital along with machines, college-graduate workers(c-workers), and workers who have not graduated from college(h-workers). The technology for making e-capital is simple: c-workers by themselves make e-capital. No other factors are required. I use the standard tools of production economics to understand changes in factor intensities and factor prices, without invoking significant changes over time in the production function for goods and services.
A firm's e-capital is a body of technical and organizational know-how. Much e-capital involves the uses of computers and software, but it is the business methods based on computers, not the computer themselves, that constitute e-capital. Computers count as ordinary plant and equipment. E-capital-intensive firms handle huge flows of transactions accurately and quickly. They employ far fewer expensive workers as problem solvers than do traditional firms, because they have developed systems to get things right the first time. Industries with high levels of e-capital relative to employment include insurance, securities brokers, communications, and equipment manufacturing. For example, online brokers such as E*Trade prosper by substituting web servers and software for people.
Why did the e-capital revolution occur in the 1990s and not before? After all, computers and college degrees are hardly innovations of that decade. I explain the change in the 1990s in terms of an upsurge in saving resulting at least in part from technical progress in forming e-capial. This saving does not appear in the accounts of corporations or in the national income accounts, because the income that is saved is quickly spent on forming more e-capital in the same corporations. The evidence of this saving is indirectㅡit is manifested in the rising stock market. (...)