Understanding PRC Investment Statistics

52 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2020

See all articles by Carsten A. Holz

Carsten A. Holz

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 28, 2020


Investment statistics of the People’s Republic of China are a source of many puzzles. Some investment data are of dubious quality, while the particular concepts of investment and their changing definitions over time are often poorly understood. Fixed asset investment, a remnant of the planned economy, comes with severe limitations in terms of data coverage and compilation. Detailed sector data are available, but only for a repeatedly changing subset. Gross fixed capital formation, an alternative investment measure based on the national accounts, may be more reliable but only the most aggregate data are available. The researcher or policy-maker in need of investment data encounters a veritable minefield of data issues that this paper helps navigate.

Keywords: Fixed asset investment, gross fixed capital formation, newly increased fixed assets, national accounts, Chinese statistics, data falsification

JEL Classification: E22, C82, O53

Suggested Citation

Holz, Carsten A., Understanding PRC Investment Statistics (January 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532573 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3532573

Carsten A. Holz (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science ( email )

Division of Social Science
Clear Water Bay
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong

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