WTO Accession, Foreign Direct Investment and International Trade
Advances in Chinese Economic Studies series
Edited by Chunlai Chen
Chapter 3: Capital Stock Estimates by Region and Sector
Yanrui Wu INTRODUCTION China’s economic reforms and, subsequently, rapid growth for three decades (1978–2007) have attracted a lot of attention both inside and outside the country. As a result, a vast literature has emerged.1 While working on China’s economic statistics, researchers have confronted a major problem, that is, no capital stock data are reported in the Chinese statistical system. Subsequently, researchers have attempted to derive China’s capital stock data by themselves. Zhang (1991), He (1992) and Chow (1993) are examples of earlier studies on capital stock estimates and economic growth in China. Zhang and He represent two of the pioneering studies conducted by scholars inside China. Their capital stock estimates are based on the statistics of ‘accumulation’ defined under the traditional material product system (MPS) in China.2 The latter was replaced by the UN-adopted system of national accounts (SNA) in the earlier 1990s and subsequently reporting of the ‘accumulation’ information was discontinued in 1993. Chow (1993) is one of the earlier studies published in English. His study covered the period of 1952–85. He derived capital stock series for five economic sectors, that is, agriculture, industry, construction, transportation and commerce. Chow’s empirical estimations were based on data of national income, accumulation of fixed assets and circulating funds. He also derived an estimate of capital stock in agriculture by using data of the original value of fixed assets. It is well known that data on ‘accumulation or ‘original value’ of fixed assets suffer from the serious problem of double-accounting (Chen...
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