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Measuring Capital - OECD Manual 2009

Second edition

image of Measuring Capital - OECD Manual 2009

Capital - in particular of the physical sort - plays several roles in economic life: it constitutes wealth and it it provides services in production processes. Capital is invested, disinvested and it depreciates and becomes obsolescent and there is a question how to measure all these dimensions of capital in industry and national accounts. This revised Capital Manual is a comprehensive guide to the approaches toward capital measurement. It gives statisticians, researchers and analysts practical advice while providing theoretical background and an overview of the relevant literature. The manual comes in three parts - a first part with a non-technical description with the main concepts and steps involved in measuring capital; a second part directed at implementation and a third part outlining theory and a more complete mathematical formulation of the measurement process.

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Net (“Wealth”) Capital Stock

The stock of assets surviving from past periods, and corrected for depreciation is the net or wealth capital stock. The net stock is valued as if the capital good (used or new) were acquired on the date to which a balance sheet relates. The net stock is designed to reflect the wealth of the owner of the asset at a particular point in time. Hence, the notion of “wealth” stock which seems more telling than ‘net’ stock because there are other types of “net” capital measures, for example the productive stock is ‘net’ of efficiency losses of capital goods due to ageing. The net stock is the measure that enters balance sheets of institutional sectors.

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