Comparative National Balance Sheets

A Study of Twenty Countries, 1688-1979

Raymond W. Goldsmith

Comparative National Balance Sheets
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Raymond W. Goldsmith

372 pages | © 1984
Cloth $92.50 ISBN: 9780226301532 Published April 1985
Raymond W. Goldsmith has combined his experience, good sense, and flair with figures to construct this groundbreaking comparative study of the balance sheets of twenty of the largest nations. A pioneer in the field of national accounts, Goldsmith now presents a work that will be a valuable tool in tracking the economic progress of and between nations.

The majority of the balance sheets were created especially for this project, their components gleaned from fragmentary and heterogeneous data. There are approximately 3,500 entries, each measuring the value of one type of tangible or financial asset or liability at a given date. Goldsmith's estimates are keyed to fifteen benchmark dates in the economic progress of the cited nations, and for twelve nations he was able to construct balance sheets dating back to the nineteenth century or earlier. Combined, worldwide balance sheet are included for 1950 and 1978.

Comparative National Balance Sheets will provide an essential basis for the quantitative analysis of the long-term financial development of these nations. In addition to national balance sheets for all large countries except Brazil and China, sectoral balance sheets for France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, and the United States in the postwar period are also included.
List of Tables
1. The Quintessence
1. Summa Summarum
2. The Planetary Balance Sheet
a) The Global Picture in the Postwar Period
b) Developed Market Economies, 1850-1978
3. The Growth of National Assets
4. Asset/Product Ratios
5. The Financial Interrelations Ratio
2. Conceptual and Statistical Problems
1. The Function of National and Sectoral Balance Sheets
2. Conceptual Problems
a) The Scope of National Balance Sheets
b) Classification of Assets and Liabilities
c) Sectorization
d) Valuation
e) Benchmark Dates
3. Statistical Difficulties
4. Sources
3. The Structure of National Balance Sheets
1. Overviews for 1880, 1913, 1950, and 1978
2. The Division between Tangible and Financial Assets
3. The Structure of Tangible Assets
a) The Share of Land
b) The Structure of Reproducible Tangible Assets
4. The Structure of Financial Assets
a) The Financial Intermediation Ratio
b) Currency and Deposits
c) Insurance and Pension Claims
d) Government Debt
e) Corporate Securities
f) Trade Credit
g) The Role of Foreign Investments
4. Sectorized National Balance Sheets
1. The Sectoral Distribution of the Main Aggregates
a) National Assets
b) Tangible Assets
c) Financial Assets
d) Liabilities
e) Sectoral Net Creditor and Debtor Positions
f) A Comparison of India and the United States
g) Selected Balance Sheet Components
2. The Structure of Sectoral Balance Sheets
a) The Household Sector
b) Nonfinancial Corporate Business
c) The Government Sector
d) Financial Institutions
Appendix A: National Balance Sheets for 20 Countries
1. Australia
2. Belgium
3. Canada
4. Denmark
5. France
6. Germany
7. Great Britain
8. Hungary
9. India
10. Israel
11. Italy
12. Japan
13. Mexico
14. Norway
15. Russia/USSR
16. South Africa
17. Sweden
18. Switzerland
19. United States
20. Yugoslavia
Appendix B: Sectoral Balance Sheets for Six Countries
Great Britain
United States
Appendix C: Some Statistical Difficulties
List of Publications Cited

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