OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

Boosting investment performance in Germany

Non-residential investment has fallen over the past 20 years as a share of GDP and is now lower than in several other high-income OECD countries. Business investment growth has been weak since the outbreak of the global financial and economic crisis. Government investment has been low, especially at municipal level. Investment in knowledge-based capital (KBC), which is closely related to long-term productivity performance, has been subdued. Weak growth prospects in the Euro Area have weighed on business investment and an increasing share of firms invests in distant, more dynamic markets. Policies that strengthen stability and growth prospects in the Euro Area would raise the attractiveness of Germany as a location to invest, notably steps to strengthen the single market and cross-border infrastructure, and complete the banking union. Steps to liberalise regulation of services, in particular knowledge-intensive professional services, would raise investment and productivity. Policies that encourage the reallocation of resources would also increase investment in KBC. Poor municipalities invest relatively little and there is scope to lower the cost of public investment projects. Better use of e-governance and more performance-oriented budgeting could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public investment.


Keywords: productivity, investment, knowledge-based capital

E24: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity;
E22: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity