This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Listed below are the Working Papers to date from SPINTAN. We hope you find them of interest, please feel free to contact the corresponding author or SPINTAN (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your comments.
A multitude of measurement issues are related to quantifying the amount of intangible assets in the public sector. In this paper we focus on the research dealing with the decrease of the value of capital stock and the depreciation of intangibles in the public sector. In the first part we discuss the influence of the assumption of normal wear and tear, obsolescence and average economic life for the calculation of depreciation rates. In particular, we evaluate the potential differences between private and public intangibles. In the second part of the paper we present an empirical case study. Here we take closer look at the team value as part of the intangibles in the field of organisational capital. Based on linked employer-employee data for Germany we analyse the unit specific quit rates that describe the loss of the capital value of a team. The results indicate large differences in the depreciation rates between private and public sector. The depreciation rate of the team value as part of the organisational capital is particularly low in the public administration and human health activities.
This paper takes two complementary perspectives to review the main issues arising from the measurement of public capital. Firstly, it presents the most relevant statistical issues related to measuring public/non-market investment. Second, it highlights some methodological problems associated with the measurement of the value of capital services, namely, i) the use of a rate of return for public capital; ii) the endogenous vs. exogenous approach and the consistency requirements when the former is used; and iii) the selected user cost expression and its consequences for measurement. Third, it refers explicitly to intangible capital. Finally, the paper also shows the implications for the value of capital services —levels and growth rates— of the different options open for both tangible and intangible public capital.
SPINTAN Working Paper No. 1
Public intangibles: the public sector and economic growth in the SNA
Carol Corrado, Jonathan Haskel, Cecilia Jona-Lasinio
View abstract | Download paper | View Policy Brief
Accepted for publication in the Review of Income and Wealth
This paper sets out a framework for the analysis of public investments, tangible and intangible, at the level of detail needed for the economic analysis of impacts of public policies influencing economic growth. To do this, we broaden the concept of capital in the public sector from that which is mostly tangible (e.g. physical infrastructure) to that which also includes intangibles and long-lasting societal assets. We also need to overcome some significant measurement challenges, such as the accounting treatment of returns to public capital and the assignment of public capital and relevant expenditures, including tax expenditures, to industries. All told, for the analysis of public investments, we find that national accounts need to (a) impute a net return to government capital, (b) disaggregate industries by institutional sector of origin, (c) use industry capital compensation measured to include all public payments, and (d) where relevant, build crosswalks for components of government expenditure by function of government to industries.