Good-quality, comprehensive national accounts are vital for economicpolicymaking and research. Exhaustive coverage is difficult to achieve,however, because some economic activities may be illegal, informal,household production for own final use, or missed because of deficienciesin the data collection system. Such activities are said to constitute thenon-observed ("hidden," "underground," or "shadow") economy. ThisHandbook - the product of collaboration among the OECD, the IMF, ILO, ISC-CIS - identifies best practices for measuring the non-observed economy, consistent with international standards (in particular, with theSystem of National Accounts 1993).
This paper presents new empirical evidence about the process of plant investment. Using newspaper and trade journal articles, the author collects and analyzes time-to-build data for a sample of Compustat firms. These data suggest that the average construction lead time for new plants is around two years in most industries. Business cycle fluctuations do not affect the length of time-to-build. The investment lead times are generally not sensitive to the size of the projects. Only nine percent of the firms in the sample deviate from their investment schedules and delay or abandon their projects.