Physical capital

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Under capital equipment (or Realkapital ; English physical capital ) is understood in the economics the capital goods , so far as it the production and not to the consumer are used. The opposite is money capital .


The physical capital is the factor of production capital in the economic sense is. Economists use the term physical capital for buildings , machinery , technical equipment , tools and office furniture and equipment necessary for production of goods and services are used. In 1928 Werner Sombart understood this to mean all material goods “in which capital is reflected”.

The term content is not always used consistently. Some authors understand physical capital and real capital as synonyms , for others, in turn, real capital includes physical capital and knowledge capital . According to Klaus Spremann , the latter is divided into human capital ( education , knowledge, skills and knowledge of employees) and structural capital (ability to implement human capital profitably). The economist Peter B. Kenen combines human and physical capital into total capital.

Use in economics

Real capital arises through investment activity, investments in this sense are the conversion of money capital into real capital. Expenditures for capital equipment are in accordance with capital expenditure . The demand for physical capital is determined by its productivity and the level of real interest . Companies come into question as investors , in some cases also the state, for example in the construction of motorways or sewage disposal ( social capital ). Capital goods consist of goods that were manufactured in earlier production processes. That is why Eugen Böhm von Bawerk also calls physical capital “produced means of production”.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Werner Sombart, Modern Capitalism: Economic Life in the Age of High Capitalism , 1928, p. 230
  2. Klaus Spremann / Pascal Gantenbein, Zinsen, Anhaben, Kredite , 2002, p. 181 ff.
  3. Peter B. Kenen, Skills, Human Capital and Comparative Advantage , in: Lee W. Hansen (Ed.), Education, Income and Human Capital, 1970, p. 195
  4. Klaus Herdzina / Stephan Seiter, Introduction to Microeconomics , 2015, p. 7
  5. Rainer Fischbach / Klaus Wollenberg, Economics I: Introduction and Basics , 2007, p. 40
  6. Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Capital , in: Hand Wortbuch der Staatswissenschaften, 1900, p. 19