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Measuring Real Investment: Trends in the United States and International Comparisons

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  • Milka S. Kirova
  • Robert S. Lipsey

Abstract

The standard measures of nominal capital formation show the United States investing a proportion of GDP much lower than those of other developed countries throughout the last 25 years and falling further behind over time. In contrast, measures we have calculated in real terms across countries and over time indicate that US investment ratios have been rising over time and have been coming closer and closer to those of the other countries. A broader measure of capital formation more consonant with economic concepts shows the United States to have been close to the other countries since 1970 and to have been investing an above average share of total output in the most recent period 1990-1994. Real capital formation per capita and per worker, even conventionally defined, has been consistently between 15 and 25 percent higher than in the other countries and broadly defined real capital formation per capita and per worker has been 30 to 60 percent higher.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6404.

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Date of creation: Feb 1998
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6404

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  1. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226301532 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Peter Hooper & J. David Richardson, 1991. "International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hoop91-1, October.
  3. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, October.
  4. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Horioka, C.Y., 1993. "Is Japan's Household Saving Rate Really High?," ISER Discussion Paper 0308, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  6. Peter Hooper & J. David Richardson, 1991. "International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research," NBER Working Papers 3805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eisner, Robert, 1989. "The Total Incomes System of Accounts," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226196381, May.
  8. Milka S. Kirova & Robert E. Lipsey, 1997. "Does the United States invest "too little?"," Working Papers 1997-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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Cited by:
  1. Herbert Walther & Alfred Stiassny, 2013. "International Comparisons of Household Saving Rates and Hidden Income," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp148, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
  2. J. David Richardson & Chi Zhang, 1999. "Revealing Comparative Advantage: Chaotic or Coherent Patterns Across Time and Sector and U.S. Trading Partner?," NBER Working Papers 7212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mireille Laroche & Marcel Mérette & G. C. Ruggeri, 1999. "On the Concept and Dimension of Human Capital in a Knowledge-Based," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(1), pages 87-100, March.
  4. Richard W. Kopcke & Richard S. Brauman, 2001. "The performance of traditional macroeconomic models of businesses' investment spending," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 3-39.
  5. Magnus Blomström & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Introduction to "Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey"," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. J. David Richardson, 2006. "Comment on "Measuring International Trade in Services"," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 71-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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