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Paper Bart Bronnenberg accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Perspectives

Published: 22nd June 2022 Last updated: 22nd June 2022

The paper “Marketing Investment and Intangible Brand Capital” by Bart Bronnenberg, together with Jean-Pierre Dubé and Chad Syverson (both from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business) has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Perspectives.


This paper discusses how marketing investments create intangible brand capital. We begin with several facts about trends in marketing investment in the US economy. We present estimates of the private value of brands to firms and aggregate intangible brand capital stocks created by these investments. We provide evidence on the rising share of marketing executives and the shift toward in-house marketing.  We then discuss the three prominent mechanisms in the literature that seeks to explain the striking magnitude of marketing outlays:

  1. a reputation for prestige and/or quality;
  2. reduce transaction and search costs; and
  3. the role of marketing in strategic interaction.