Regional Capital Inputs in Chinese Industry and Manufacturing, 1978-2003

Lili Wang & Adam Szirmai


This paper provides new estimates of capital inputs in the Chinese economy. Estimates are made for the total economy (1953-2003), for the industrial sector (1978-2003) and for the manufacturing sector (1985-2003). The estimates for industry and manufacturing are broken down by thirty regions. The main contribution of this paperlies in constructing hitherto unvailable estimates of capital inputs at the level of Chinese regions. The paper makes a systematic attempt to apply SNA concepts to the estimation of Chinese capital inputs, according to the Perpetual Inventory Method. It makes a clear distinction between capital services and wealth capital stocks. After a general discussion of theoretical issues in capital measurement, the paper provides a detailed analysis of the relevant Chinese statistical concepts and data. It goes on to discuss previous capital estimates in the light of the modern conceptual and theoretical discussions. It ends with an explanation of the procedures followed in constructing the national and regional capital input series.

Key words: Capital Inputs, Capital Services, Regions, China, Industry, Manufacturing

JEL Codes: O47 (Measurement of Economic Growth), R11 (Regional Economic Activity).

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872