El coste de uso del capital en la explicación del boom de la inversión europea de posguerra
Post-war Europe provides an opportunity to study the importance of relative prices of capital, and the user cost of capital in particular, in explaining the convergence in investment rates between countries of similar “social capabilities” and income levels. After Second World War, at time as a new international order was established, European countries experienced a rapid process of income growth and convergence. In the interpretation of this process a prominent role has been attributed to technological progress and “catch-up” to the technological leader, the United States. Investment decisions are the way for embodying new technological progress, but investment takes place only when incentive exists. Among these incentives, recent empirical literature on economic growth highlights the role of relative prices of capital in explaining differences in investment rates and income growth between countries with very different income levels. But when we reduce the sample to countries closed in income levels and “social capabilities”, we can demonstrate that, although the relative cost of capital converged over time and could help to explain income convergence, other factors were more significant in explaining the increase in investment rates. More important than the user cost of capital in the investment decision, was general prosperity caused by the demand increase.
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