An equivalent linearization procedure is developed for predicting the inelastic deformations and internal forces of capacity-designed structures under earthquake excitations. The procedure employs response spectrum analysis, and mainly consists of the construction of an equivalent linear system by reducing the stiffness of structural members that are expected to respond in the inelastic range. These members are well defined in structures designed with capacity principles. Maximum modal displacement demands of the equivalent linear system are determined either from the equal displacement rule, or from independent nonlinear response history analysis of SDOF systems representing inelastic modes. Predictions obtained from the proposed equivalent linearization procedure are evaluated comparatively by using the results of nonlinear response history analysis as benchmark, linear elastic response spectrum analysis and conventional pushover analysis. The deformations and capacity controlled actions of a 12-story symmetrical plan concrete frame and a 6-story unsymmetrical plan concrete frame are obtained by each method under 96 strong ground motions. It is observed that the proposed procedure results in better accuracy in estimating the inelastic seismic displacement response parameters and capacity controlled forces than the other two approximate methods.