Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

And the IMF Said, Let There Be Data, and There Was Data: Private Capital Stocks in the Eastern Bloc

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Abstract

The International Monetary Fund has recently published a dataset on public and private capital stocks for 170 countries from 1960–2015 using the perpetual inventory methodology. Following a reckless assumption, opaquely imposed, the dataset likely overstates levels of private investment as a percentage of total investment in former Eastern bloc countries, and thereby likely overstates their private capital stocks. This comment explores the nature and implications of the assumption, and suggests that, in light of the problem, the scope of the IMF project be significantly diminished to address the issue.