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Ex Post Versus Ex Ante Measures Of The User Cost Of Capital

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  • Nicholas Oulton

Abstract

Should we use ex post or ex ante measures of user costs to calculate the contribution of capital in a growth accounting exercise? The answer, based on a simple model of temporary equilibrium, is that ex post is better in theory. In practice researchers usually calculate ex post user costs by assuming that the rate of return is equalized across assets. But this is only true if expectations are correct. In general, the ex post rate of return differs between assets, even though ex ante it is the same. I propose a hybrid method. The index of capital services is estimated using ex ante weights; the contribution of capital is the growth of this index multiplied by the ex post income share of capital. I show that this method is theoretically correct if the production function is CES. I compare the ex post, ex ante and hybrid methods using data for 31 U.K. industries from 1970 to 2000. Copyright 2007 The Author; Journal compilation International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Oulton, 2007. "Ex Post Versus Ex Ante Measures Of The User Cost Of Capital," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(2), pages 295-317, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:53:y:2007:i:2:p:295-317
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
    2. Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2003. "Capital stocks, capital services, and depreciation: an integrated framework," Bank of England working papers 192, Bank of England.
    3. Paul Schreyer & Pierre-Emmanuel Bignon & Julien Dupont, 2003. "OECD Capital Services Estimates: Methodology and a First Set of Results," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2003/6, OECD Publishing.
    4. Paul Schreyer, 2001. "The OECD Productivity Manual: A Guide to the Measurement of Industry-Level and Aggregate Productivity," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 2, pages 37-51, Spring.
    5. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
    6. W. Erwin Diewert, 1980. "Aggregation Problems in the Measurement of Capital," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Capital, pages 433-538 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W, 1969. "The Measurement of U.S. Real Capital Input, 1929-1967," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 15(4), pages 293-320, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mariela Dal Borgo & Peter Goodridge & Jonathan Haskel & Annarosa Pesole, 2013. "Productivity and Growth in UK Industries: An Intangible Investment Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(6), pages 806-834, December.
    2. Oulton, Nicholas & Rincon-Aznar, Ana, 2009. "Rates of return and alternative measures of capital input: 14 countries and 10 branches, 1971-2005," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28687, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Oulton, Nicholas, 2012. "Long term implications of the ICT revolution: Applying the lessons of growth theory and growth accounting," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1722-1736.
    4. Oulton, Nicholas & Wallis, Gavin, 2016. "Capital stocks and capital services: Integrated and consistent estimates for the United Kingdom, 1950–2013," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 117-125.
    5. Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2012. "Productivity Convergence Across Industries and Countries: The Importance of Theory-based Measurement," Chapters,in: Industrial Productivity in Europe, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Dale W. Jorgenson & Marcel P. Timmer, 2011. "Structural Change in Advanced Nations: A New Set of Stylised Facts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 1-29, March.
    7. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i::p:s355-s380 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. World Bank, 2013. "Measuring the Real Size of the World Economy : The Framework, Methodology, and Results of the International Comparison Program—ICP," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13329.
    9. Gavin Wallis, 2009. "Capital Services Growth in the UK: 1950 to 2006," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(6), pages 799-819, December.
    10. Robert Inklaar, 2010. "The Sensitivity Of Capital Services Measurement: Measure All Assets And The Cost Of Capital," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(2), pages 389-412, June.
    11. Riley, Sarah F. & Ru, Hong Yu & Feng, Qing, 2013. "The User Cost of Low-Income Homeownership," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 43(2).
    12. Bert M. Balk, 2007. "Measuring Productivity Change without Neoclassical Assumptions: A Conceptual Analysis," CEPA Working Papers Series WP042007, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    13. Nicholas Oulton & Gavin Wallis, 2015. "Integrated Estimates of Capital Stocks and Services for the United Kingdom: 1950-2013," CEP Discussion Papers dp1342, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    14. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i::p:s169-s193 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Nicholas Oulton, 2012. "How To Measure Living Standards And Productivity," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(3), pages 424-456, September.
    16. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Marcel P. Timmer & Ilya B. Voskoboynikov, 2014. "Is Mining Fuelling Long-Run Growth in Russia? Industry Productivity Growth Trends Since 1995," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(S2), pages 398-422, November.
    18. Paul Schreyer, 2007. "Old and New Asset Boundaries: A Review Article on Measuring Capital in the New Economy," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 15, pages 75-80, Fall.
    19. Andrew Street & Padraic Ward, 2009. "NHS input and productivity growth 2003/4 - 2007/8," Working Papers 047cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    20. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Nicholas Oulton & Ana Rincón-Aznar, 2012. "Rates of Return and Alternative Measures of Capital Input: 14 Countries and Ten Branches, 1971–2005," Chapters,in: Industrial Productivity in Europe, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Thomas Niebel & Marianne Saam, 2016. "ICT and Growth: The Role of Rates of Return and Capital Prices," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(2), pages 283-310, June.
    23. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:1:p:1-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Aravena, Claudio & Villarreal, Francisco G. & Jofré, José, 2010. "Estimación de servicios de capital y productividad para América Latina," Estudios Estadísticos 68, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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