Investment (macroeconomics)

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In macroeconomics, investment is the amount of goods purchased or accumulated per unit time which are not consumed at the present time. The types of investment are residential investment in housing that will provide a flow of housing services over an extended time, non-residential fixed investment in things such as new machinery or factories, human capital investment in workforce education, and inventory investment (the accumulation, intentional or unintentional, of goods inventories).

Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole. This includes regional, national, and global economies. Macroeconomists study aggregated indicators such as GDP, unemployment rates, national income, price indices, and the interrelations among the different sectors of the economy to better understand how the whole economy functions. They also develop models that explain the relationship between such factors as national income, output, consumption, unemployment, inflation, saving, investment, energy, international trade, and international finance.

Fixed investment in economics is the purchasing of newly produced fixed capital. It is measured as a flow variable – that is, as an amount per unit of time.

Human capital is the stock of habits, knowledge, social and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labour so as to produce economic value.

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In measures of national income and output, "gross investment" (represented by the variable I) is a component of gross domestic product (GDP), given in the formula GDP = C + I + G + NX, where C is consumption, G is government spending, and NX is net exports, given by the difference between the exports and imports, XM. Thus investment is everything that remains of total expenditure after consumption, government spending, and net exports are subtracted (i.e. I = GDP − CGNX).

A variety of measures of national income and output are used in economics to estimate total economic activity in a country or region, including gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), net national income (NNI), and adjusted national income also called as NNI at factor cost. All are specially concerned with counting the total amount of goods and services produced within the economy and by different sectors. The boundary is usually defined by geography or citizenship, and it is also defined as the total income of the nation and also restrict the goods and services that are counted. For instance, some measures count only goods & services that are exchanged for money, excluding bartered goods, while other measures may attempt to include bartered goods by imputing monetary values to them.

In elementary mathematics, a variable is a symbol, commonly a single letter, that represents a number, called the value of the variable, which is either arbitrary, not fully specified, or unknown. Making algebraic computations with variables as if they were explicit numbers allows one to solve a range of problems in a single computation. A typical example is the quadratic formula, which allows one to solve every quadratic equation by simply substituting the numeric values of the coefficients of the given equation for the variables that represent them.

Gross domestic product market value of goods and services produced within a country

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period, often annually. GDP (nominal) per capita does not, however, reflect differences in the cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries; therefore using a basis of GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) is arguably more useful when comparing differences in living standards between nations.

"Net investment" deducts depreciation from gross investment. Net fixed investment is the value of the net increase in the capital stock per year.

Depreciation Decrease in asset values, or the allocation of cost thereof

In accountancy, depreciation refers to two aspects of the same concept: first, the actual decrease in value of fair value of an asset, such as the decrease in value of factory equipment each year as it is used and wears, and second, the allocation in accounting statements of the original cost of the assets to periods in which the assets are used.

In economics and accounting, fixed capital is any kind of real, physical asset that is used in the production of a product but is not used up in the production. It contrasts with circulating capital such as raw materials, operating expenses and the like. It was first theoretically analyzed in some depth by the economist David Ricardo.

Fixed investment, as expenditure over a period of time (e.g., "per year"), is not capital but rather leads to changes in the amount of capital. The time dimension of investment makes it a flow . By contrast, capital is a stock—that is, accumulated net investment up to a point in time.

In economics, capital consists of assets that can enhance one's power to perform economically useful work. For example, in a fundamental sense a stone or an arrow is capital for a caveman who can use it as a hunting instrument, while roads are capital for inhabitants of a city.

Stock and flow

Economics, business, accounting, and related fields often distinguish between quantities that are stocks and those that are flows. These differ in their units of measurement. A stock is measured at one specific time, and represents a quantity existing at that point in time, which may have accumulated in the past. A flow variable is measured over an interval of time. Therefore, a flow would be measured per unit of time. Flow is roughly analogous to rate or speed in this sense.

Determinants

Investment is often modeled as a function of income and interest rates, given by the relation I = f(Y, r), with the interest rate negatively affecting investment because it is the cost of acquiring funds with which to purchase investment goods, and with income positively affecting investment because higher income signals greater opportunities to sell the goods that physical capital can produce.

In some research, investment is modeled as an increasing function of Tobin's q, which is the ratio between a physical asset's market value and its replacement value. If, for example, this ratio is greater than 1, machinery can be bought at one price and then generate output worth the larger amount that is reflected in its market value, giving positive economic profit.

Tobin's q is the ratio between a physical asset's market value and its replacement value. It was first introduced by Nicholas Kaldor in 1966 in his article "Marginal Productivity and the Macro-Economic Theories of Distribution: Comment on Samuelson and Modigliani". It was popularised a decade later, however, by James Tobin, who describes its two quantities (1977):

One, the numerator, is the market valuation: the going price in the market for exchanging existing assets. The other, the denominator, is the replacement or reproduction cost: the price in the market for newly produced commodities. We believe that this ratio has considerable macroeconomic significance and usefulness, as the nexus between financial markets and markets for goods and services.

Market value or OMV is the price at which an asset would trade in a competitive auction setting. Market value is often used interchangeably with open market value, fair value or fair market value, although these terms have distinct definitions in different standards, and may or may not differ in some circumstances.

The term replacement cost or replacement value refers to the amount that an entity would have to pay to replace an asset at the present time, according to its current worth.

In some research, investment is modeled as an increasing function of the gap between the optimal capital stock and the current capital stock. Here the optimal capital stock is modeled as that which maximizes profit.

See also

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In macroeconomics, Aggregate Demand (AD) or Domestic Final Demand (DFD) is the total demand for final goods and services in an economy at a given time. It is often called effective demand, though at other times this term is distinguished. This is the demand for the gross domestic product of a country. It specifies the amounts of goods and services that will be purchased at all possible price levels.

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In economics, a country's national saving is the sum of private and public saving. It equals a nation's income minus consumption and the government’s taxes levied.

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Gross fixed capital formation

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