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Measuring real investment: trends in the United States and international comparisons

  • Milka S. Kirova
  • Robert E. Lipsey

The standard measures of nominal capital formation suggest that the proportion of GDP the United States is dedicating to investment has been much lower than that of other developed countries throughout the last 25 years. By calculating the measures in real terms across countries and over time, authors Milka S. Kirova and Robert E. Lipsey show that the U.S. investment ratios have been rising over time, coming increasingly closer to those of other countries. Using a broader measure of capital formation that is more consonant with economic concepts, they show that U.S. investment has been close to that of other countries since 1970 and was an above-average share of total output in the most recent period studies (1990-94). Their calculations indicate that, broadly defined, real capital formation per capita and per worker has been 30 to 60 percent higher in the United States than in the other countries studied.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (1998)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Pages: 3-18

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:1998:i:jan:p:3-18
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  1. 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.
  2. Milka S. Kirova & Robert E. Lipsey, 1997. "Does the United States invest "too little?"," Working Papers 1997-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 1995. "Is Japan's Household Saving Rate Really High?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 41(4), pages 373-97, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, November.
  6. 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, November.
  7. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226301532 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Eisner, Robert, 1989. "The Total Incomes System of Accounts," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226196381.
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