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Piketty: het hoogtepunt voorbij?

Is de waarde van onze kapitaalgoederenvoorraad aan het dalen? En wordt de waarde van ons totale vermogen steeds meer ‘gefinancialiseerd’? Piketty stelt, in zijn bekende boek, dat de waarde van ons aller kapitaal, afgemeten aan ons inkomen, in de negentiende eeuw hoog was, vervolgens daalde tot een laag niveau in (ruwweg) de 1925-1985 periode en daarna tot 2010 weer begon te stijgen. Wat, omdat het eigendom van kapitaal altijd tamelijk ongelijk verdeeld is, de ongelijkheid doet toenemen. Het is echter niet onmogelijk dat de waarde van het ‘vaste’ kapitaal, inclusief de netto waarde van ons financiële kapitaal, weer aan het dalen is (zie grafiek).

2013

Voor een artikel heb ik de schattingen van de kapitaalgoederenvoorraad van het CBS conform de methode van Piketty teruggetrokken, daarbij voor zover mogelijk gebruik makend van de CBS methodologie zoals die blijkt uit allemaal CBS documenten op het internet (zie het komende artikel). Gelukkig was de deadline 10 september, zodat ik de revisie van de nationale rekeningen (die op 12 september werden gepubliceerd) niet kon meenemen… De gereviseerde nationale rekeningen bevatten herschattingen van de kapitaalgoederenvoorraad met als belangrijkste verandering dat Onderzoek en Ontwikkeling van onder andere bedrijven gezien wordt als investering die tot kapitaal leidt. Deze gegevens zijn buiten de grafiek gehouden, enkele andere reeksen laten nieuwe, hogere niveaus zien (software!), deze zijn voorlopig gewoon aan de oude reeksen geplakt. De reeks van het netto financiële vermogen is voorlopig even ongewijzigd gelaten (zie beneden).

Enkele opmerkingen:

* Hoe je de gegevens ook went of keert – de daling van de waarde van de kapitaalgoederenvoorraad (te onderscheiden van financieel kapitaal!) zet zich door. Mijn idee is dat dit structureel is. De daling is vooral geconcentreerd in de waarde van grond onder woningen en bedrijfsgebouwen (door het CBS min of meer berekend als: totale woningwaarde minus bouwkosten van de opstallen in lopende prijzen). De bekende zeepbel, die leegloopt (maar die dus nog niet zo laag is al na 1980!).

* Niet onbelangrijk is dat de standaard groeitheorie (auteurs zoals Harrod, Domar, Solow) zich vooral baseert op ‘afschrijfbaar’ (‘depreciable’) kapitaal en niet op niet-geproduceerde inputs zoals land, voorraden aardgas of patentrechten. Wel wordt hier vaak ‘human capital’ aan toegevoegd (‘menselijk kapitaal’ is een te vage vertaling omdat dat ook ‘humane capital’ omvat, ‘kennis, scholing en ervaring’ is beter). Dit valt echter weer buiten het kapitaal begrip van de nationale rekeningen, omdat het niet verkoopbaar aan anderen (vliegtuigen, woningen, …) dan wel overdraagbaar aan nieuwe generaties (gasvoorraden, dijken) is. De voorraad afschrijfbaar kapitaal vertoont geen structurele stijging na 1985 (gemeten als percentage van de productie). Integendeel. Overigens is het bredere, klassieke kapitaalbegrip vooral van belang voor de verdeling zowel als voor de analyse van de productie, terwijl ‘afschrijfbaar’ kapitaal vooral interessant is vanuit het oogpunt van een analyse van de productiviteitsstijging.

* Probleem: de schatting van het netto financiële kapitaal (financiële waarden minus schulden) is dramatisch bijgesteld. De trend is niet veranderd (met dank aan de lage rente…), het niveau is echter met 50 tot 70% van het BBP bijgesteld. Daar kunnen allerlei redenen voor zijn. Zo maakt het groot verschil of ons buitenlandse financiële bezit tegen boekwaarde of tegen marktwaarde wordt gewaardeerd. En andersom. Maar het is me momenteel niet duidelijk waar dit ontzagwekkende verschil vandaan komt. Voorlopig heb ik de oude reeks aangehouden.

Vermogen

9 Responses to “Piketty: het hoogtepunt voorbij?”

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