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New Capital Estimates for China

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  • Carsten A Holz

    (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)

Abstract

Data on physical capital are an indispensable part of economic growth and efficiency studies. In the case of China, economy-wide fixed asset series are usually derived by aggregating gross fixed capital formation (net of depreciation) over time, and sectoral/ownership-specific series by correcting the limited official fixed asset data available. These procedures, to varying degrees, ignore that (i) gross fixed capital formation does not equal investment, (ii) investment does not equal the value of fixed assets newly created through investment, (iii) depreciation is an accounting measure that bears no necessary relation to changes in the production capacity of fixed assets, (iv) official fixed asset data, where available, incorporate significant revaluations in the 1990s, and (v) “net fixed assets” do not measure the contribution of fixed assets to production. This paper derives economy-wide fixed asset values for 1953-2003, correcting for these shortcomings. It uses both the traditional, cumulative approach and a new, so far unexplored method of combining economy-wide depreciation values and an economy-wide depreciation rate to directly yield economy-wide fixed assets. The derived fixed asset time series are evaluated in a comparison with each other as well as with series in the literature, leading to the recommendation of a specific choice of fixed asset time series.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten A Holz, 2005. "New Capital Estimates for China," Macroeconomics 0512001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0512001
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 50
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jefferson, Gary H. & Rawski, Thomas G. & Zheng, Yuxin, 1996. "Chinese Industrial Productivity: Trends, Measurement Issues, and Recent Developments," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 146-180, October.
    2. Holz, Carsten A., 2004. "Deconstructing China's GDP statistics," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 164-202.
    3. Jefferson, Gary H. & Rawski, Thomas G. & Li, Wang & Yuxin, Zheng, 2000. "Ownership, Productivity Change, and Financial Performance in Chinese Industry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 786-813, December.
    4. Wang, Yan & Yao, Yudong, 2003. "Sources of China's economic growth 1952-1999: incorporating human capital accumulation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 32-52.
    5. Chow, Gregory C & Li, Kui-Wai, 2002. "China's Economic Growth: 1952-2010," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 247-256, October.
    6. Jefferson, Gary H & Rawski, Thomas G & Yuxin, Zheng, 1992. "Growth, Efficiency, and Convergence in China's State and Collective Industry," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 239-266, January.
    7. Alwyn Young, 2003. "Gold into Base Metals: Productivity Growth in the People's Republic of China during the Reform Period," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1220-1261, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital; investment; national income accounting; production function estimations; Chinese statistics; fixed assets; measurement of economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population
    • P24 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - National Income, Product, and Expenditure; Money; Inflation

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