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New Estimates of State and Local Government Tangible Capital and Net Investment

  • Michael J. Boskin
  • Marc S. Robinson
  • Alan M. Huber
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    Measures of the state and local government capital stock and investment are necessary inputs into several areas of economic analysis, including the measurement of national wealth and its growth. We estimate net investment and depreciation of state and local government nonresidential capital. In aggregate, we estimate a net state and local nonresidential capital stock of $1.8 trillion in 1985, 17% larger than that estimated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Net state and local government investment has exceeded the state and local deficit annually for the last forty-five years. While the fraction of state and local purchase of goods and services devoted to net investment has fallen, it has exceeded federal government net capital formation except during defense buildups and has averaged more than 40% of private fixed nonresidential net investment since 1951. Similar comparisons reveal that the state and local government net capital stock substantially exceeds state and local debt, and is about twice the federal government capital stock.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2131.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2131.

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    Date of creation: Jan 1987
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    Publication status: published as (Boskin, Michael J., Marc S. Robinson, Terrance O'Reilly and Praveen Kumar) Published as "Errata: New Estimates of the Value of Federal Mineral Rights and Land", American Economic Review, Vol. 76, no. 4 (1986).
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2131
    Note: PE
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    1. Boskin, Michael J, et al, 1985. "New Estimates of the Value of Federal Mineral Rights and Land," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 923-36, December.
    2. Starrett, David A, 1981. "Land Value Capitalization in Local Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 306-27, April.
    3. Laurits R. Christensen & Dale Jorgenson, 1973. "Measuring Economic Performance in the Private Sector," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 233-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael J. Boskin & Marc S. Robinson & John M. Roberts, 1985. "New Estimates of Federal Government Tangible Capital and Net Investment," NBER Working Papers 1774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Raymond W. Goldsmith, 1962. "The National Wealth of the United States in the Postwar Period," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold62-1, August.
    6. Boskin, Michael J, 1982. "Federal Government Deficits: Some Myths and Realities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 296-303, May.
    7. Allan Young & John C. Musgrave, 1980. "Estimation of Capital Stock in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Capital, pages 23-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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