Économie et Statistique n° 450 - 2012 Intangible Investments in France - Affordability of Supplemental Health Insurance in France (2006 Family Budget Survey) - The OMAR model - Mobility and Labour-Market Segmentation
Intangible Investments in France: Definitions and Initial Estimates
Since the 1980s, the developed countries have witnessed a deep transformation of their production organization and processes, marked by the rise of information technology and R&D. At the same time, however, they have experienced slowdowns-and even downturns-in labour productivity and total factor productivity. It has been argued that these rather contradictory observations are partly due to the difficulty of characterizing and recording various types of intangible investments in the national accounts. Some of these investments-for example, in software-have already been incorporated as such into the national accounts. Others, notably R&D, are still largely regarded as intermediate consumption. A third type has not been separately categorized and is therefore virtually absent from the national accounts. Our study seeks to fill this gap for France. Like the studies by Corrado, Hulten, and Sichel (2005, 2009) for the United States, we begin by identifying a very diverse set of intangible investments. We then offer estimates for 2004, chosen as reference year, and for changes from 1980 to 2008. By our reckoning, intangible investments totalled €130-164 billion in 2004 (7.9-9.9% of GDP) depending on how broadly or narrowly we define certain categories and interpret certain statistical sources. Intangible investments have been rising steadily since 1980 without, however, offsetting the slowdown in tangibleinvestment growth. Although their inclusion does not substantially alter the figures for overall economic growth, it does significantly change the profile of total factor productivity.