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Wealth measurement and the role of built asset investment: an empirical comparison

Les Ruddock (University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)
Steven Ruddock (School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 8 January 2019

Issue publication date: 30 May 2019




The purpose of this paper is to assess the role of investment in built assets in the achievement of economic growth as part of a wealth measurement approach and to undertake an analysis of the relative importance of such investment as part of a country’s overall capital asset portfolio.


Panel data on capital asset investment are used to compare groups of countries at different stages of development. Data sets on investment and capital levels from the Penn World Tables 9.0 are used. Population and gross domestic product data are taken from the same source and the UN Statistics Division. World Bank reports provide data on countries’ income group classification.


There is confirmation of the view that, as economies grow, a pattern of investment based on developing a different structure of capital asset portfolio occurs. Investment patterns similar to those found in advanced countries arise as low income countries move to higher income classification groups even though built assets remain the most valuable capital asset group.


The study provides time series evidence on the nature of changing capital investment patterns in countries’ economies and demonstrates the value of a wealth measurement approach.



Ruddock, L. and Ruddock, S. (2019), "Wealth measurement and the role of built asset investment: an empirical comparison", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 766-778.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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