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China’s Intangible Capital Stock: Ways for Measurement and Evaluation (No.91, 2019)


By Li Yifei, Management World Magazine, Zheng Shilin, Peking University & Yang Mengjun, Shanghai University

Research Report, No.91, 2019 (Total 5591) 2019-6-13

Abstract: Intangible capital is an important driving force for the growth of the economy with a new format, but China still lacks a scientific estimation of provincial-level intangible capital stock. This paper gives an estimation of the intangible capital stock of China's provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) from 2000 to 2015 based on the classification framework of constant elasticity of substitution (CES). Research findings show that the national intangible capital stock increased from 0.61 trillion yuan in 2000 to 15.60 trillion yuan in 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 24.15%, contributing nearly 40% to economic growth. Judging from the internal structure, the proportion of economic competitive capital in intangible capital investment is relatively low. The stock of intangible capital is mainly concentrated in economically developed regions, which has become an important restriction factor for the development of less developed regions. Therefore, the following suggestions are made for improvement. First, we need to take the new economic format as a carrier to increase the investment in intangible capital, and propel the transformation from old growth drivers to new ones. Second, we need to pay attention to the capital of economic competitiveness and improve the core competitiveness of enterprises. Third, we need to increase intangible capital investment in China’s central and western regions to narrow the regional gap in terms of intangible capital. Fourth, we need to implement an innovation-oriented support policy to cover more sectors and more regions.

Key words: intangible capital stock, economic growth, the transformation from old drivers to new ones