WP: Substance and Semantics (The Question of Capital)

Junto a Peter Lewin estudiamos el difícil problema de definir “capital” en economía. En este articulo sugerimos volcar el énfasis a su definición tradicional, donde el capital es el valor de mercado de todos los bienes de producción (sean maquinas -bienes de capital- u otros bienes.) Es la concepción que se empezo a dejar de lado con Adam Smith. Y también es la concepción de Mises. Aquí el borrador del articulo que saldrá en el Journal of Economic Behavios and Organization.

The perennial question ‘What is Capital’ has been getting some attention recently. Although the distinction between capital as a financial construct and capital as a collection of physical production-goods is well known, we argue that the former concept is underappreciated. The two concepts are often conflated in practice, and the relationship between them is seldom well understood. We spell out the financial concept of capital emphasizing its importance as an indispensable instrument of calculation and accounting. We consider some views of human, social and other capital and how we differ from them. We present reasons for rejecting the notion of an aggregate production function in standard growth theory (which uses the notion of an aggregate stock of physical capital) and as recently used by Thomas Piketty in his well-known work.

Acceder al articulo en SSRN.

2 pensamientos en “WP: Substance and Semantics (The Question of Capital)

  1. Nicolas,

    You actually mean to say that Adam Smith changed the meaning of capital from the usual financial one to the physical one. If is from him that we get the notion of physical capital, against which Fisher, Fetter and Mises push back. ☺.

    Also, in the abstract change ‘underpreciated’ to ‘underappreciated’ – I am afraid it is wrong in the published version – the abstract – I thought I changed it, but apparently not. Too late now, it is in press. Not that important.

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