Business Sector Intangible Capital and Sources of Labour Productivity Growth in Canada

Articles and reports: 11F0019M2020005


Understanding intangible investments is essential for providing accurate measures of gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), gross domestic product (GDP) and productivity growth, and for understanding the innovation system. Statistical agencies need measures of intangible investment to produce economic statistics on aggregate activity that accurately measure concepts such as GDP, GFCF or savings. The levels of GDP, GFCF and savings will be underestimated to the extent that expenditures are incorrectly classified as intermediate inputs that are fully consumed during the period being measured—and not as investments that are not fully consumed during the period when the expenditures are incurred. Estimates for GDP and productivity growth rates may be similarly underestimated. This paper updates and expands upon the intangible capital estimates presented by Baldwin et al. (2009), who extended already measured intangibles (i.e., research and development [R&D], software, mineral exploration) to include additional asset classes consistent with international research on intangible capital measurement (see Corrado, Hulten and Sichel 2009).

Issue Number: 2020005
Author(s): Gu, Wulong; Macdonald, Ryan
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLFebruary 12, 2020
PDFFebruary 12, 2020