The Incremental Capital Output Ratio


The incremental capital-output ratio effectively illustrates the relationship between an economy’s investment levels and their effects on GDP growth and extra investments required for creating additional production units.

An efficient use of resources indicates a low ICOR; however, achieving such efficiency without investing in research and development may prove more challenging.


An incremental capital output ratio (ICOR) is an economic tool that illustrates the relationship between investment levels in an economy and their subsequent increase in GDP, as measured by its increase. An ICOR estimates how much additional investment capital it requires to produce one unit more, – with lower ICOR values showing more efficient production practices in that country.

Calculating an Internal Cost-Of-Rent ratio requires dividing generation output (DKDK) by new total investment output (NTI). The resultant figure demonstrates the additional production possible using new capital, which can then be compared with existing work to determine whether a new investment is worth its effort. Higher ICOR values indicate less productive existing capital; however, they need not necessarily represent failure; more advanced technology may make up for a high ICOR value.

An advanced country may achieve an ICOR of one. Reaching this efficiency level requires large sums for research and development purposes and replacing assets that depreciate over time.

As the ICOR is also dependent on various other factors, including economic growth rates, it presents policymakers with the daunting challenge of maintaining or increasing it – they must encourage savings while improving capital efficiency to achieve this goal.

Despite its limitations, the ICOR remains an integral component of economic theory and plays an essential role in Harrod-Domar models. Policymakers use the ICOR to assess whether an investment project is worthwhile; however, its shortcomings include not accounting for all associated costs, including goods/services costs, interest expenses, and any additional expenses such as legal costs related to investments – something the ICOR fails to account for accurately. To calculate an accurate ICOR calculation, it is crucial that all associated costs, such as goods/service costs, interest payments, and any expenses, such as legal expenses be taken into consideration accurately.


The capital-output ratio (COR) can provide invaluable insight when selecting investment criteria. COR measures the balance between new capital invested in an economy and economic growth generated from such additional capital investment, commonly called incremental capital output ratio (ICOR).

This ratio provides insight into the efficiency with which countries or companies utilize their investment resources, with lower ICOR figures signifying greater effectiveness when it comes to capital utilization. As such, economic analysts use it extensively when developing financial strategies.

Calculating ICOR is straightforward; the formula G = s/v is used to get an approximate estimate. As the size of a country’s capital grows, keeping its marginal product of capital constant becomes increasingly challenging; to stay ahead, investments must be made in new technologies that improve capital productivity to sustain steady economic growth.

ICOR can have a significant effect on economic development and investment efficiency within a country, as well as provide insight into potential long-term economic growth. It should be remembered, however, that various factors may impact an ICOR calculation, including technological advances, changes in industrial structure, and fluctuations in economic growth rate.

ICOR (Invested Capital Over Return) is an essential financial metric used to evaluate the efficiency of capital investment within companies or nations. A low ICOR indicates increased efficiency, leading to economic growth and sustainable long-term prosperity. Therefore, policymakers should regularly review and update ICOR figures to ensure their resources are utilized optimally.


ICOR (Incremental Capital Output Ratio) is an essential measure of economic development. It measures the cost of investing in producing one additional unit of output; low ICOR figures indicate more efficient use of investment capital, while high ratios may suggest that economies aren’t capitalizing on all the opportunities available.

An increased ICOR can hinder economic development by necessitating more capital to produce each unit of output, leaving less funds available for investments elsewhere and possibly deterring innovation of products and services. Conversely, lower ICORs may help boost GDP and enhance the overall health of an economy.

Though the incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR) can be invaluable for economists, its calculation and use may prove challenging. Although not an exact gauge of production efficiency in some instances, ICOR remains an effective means for analyzing industrial policies and measuring capital investments’ effectiveness within an economy.

ICOR is an essential metric, enabling investors to gauge the productivity and efficiency of capital investments within any economy. This is particularly crucial in developing countries where higher ICORs may inhibit sustainable economic development; by evaluating investment efficiency, governments, and businesses can identify improvement areas and make better-informed decisions.

The incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR) can provide another valuable way of examining the relationship between investment and GDP. As its name implies, investing in countries with high ICOR costs more, but this does not always reflect their level of development or quality investments.

An economy’s ICOR can help determine its desired growth rate and decide how much money to invest in its economy. However, this calculation method relies on the assumption that investments will expand at an equal pace with GDP, which can be misleading. Therefore, when calculating an economy’s ICOR, you must factor in several aspects, such as savings rate and quality of investments, for accurate calculations.


Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may make headlines, but incremental Capital Output Ratio or ICOR has quietly established itself as an indicator of economic development. While GDP is an aggregate measure, ICOR offers insights into resource allocation efficiency within countries and whether reform efforts have had tangible results. Regardless of its limitations, ICOR provides practical steps for economic reform progress.

One of the significant drawbacks to ICOR calculations is their difficulty. Multiple variables impact its calculation, such as technological advancement and labor efficiency; moreover, capital and non-capital goods cannot always be distinguished easily; also social overhead effects are not always taken into account; additionally, ICOR may also be affected by price changes for inputs like energy.

Another issue with ICOR is its inaccuracy as an indicator of economic growth. When investing more does not immediately lead to increased output – such as when new technology is being implemented or when recovering from a financial crisis – it is necessary.

One final drawback to ICOR is that it may be misleading as it only measures capital investment, not output production. While ICOR remains an indicator of productivity for any country, its use should be used alongside other indicators of economic progress to get an accurate picture.

Though limited, ICOR remains widely utilized for projecting overall investment requirements associated with plans to increase outputs through estimates of investments. Furthermore, it provides an effective tool for comparing different investment strategies, yet its limitations should not be used as the sole basis for decisions on increasing economic aid to LDCs; reasons include its assumption that other things are equal, its inability to distinguish gross and net measurements accurately, and difficulties imputing outputs against inputs over time or sectors.