Long‐Lived Working Animals As Capital Assets

A recent review of ERS’s productivity accounts recommended that ERS treat dairy cows, breeding beef cows and other long‐lived working animals as capital assets (Shumway, et. al 2014). BEA was also given the same recommendation in the international guidelines for national accounts, System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008). In ERS’s farm accounts and BEA’s National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA’s), long‐lived working animals are currently treated as an inventory asset. This paper recalculates the farm accounts and NIPA’s when long‐lived working animals are re‐classified as a capital asset. We show that this reclassification raises farm output and GDP for every year – but the increase is larger for earlier years. As a result, real farm output growth and real GDP growth falls slightly when long‐lived working animals are capitalized. Total factor productivity (TFP) growth falls slightly from 1.42% per year to 1.38% per year when year when long‐lived working animals are capitalized.

Issue Date:
Jul 27 2015
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
D19; D24; E01
Cow Capital

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-28

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