An Open Source Update of the Buy-to-Build Indicator

An Open Source Update of the Buy-to-Build Indicator
Francis, Joseph. (2018). Joe Francis: History, Numbers and Some Theory. 4 September. (Other; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

In a past life I had access to expensive databases of corporate statistics, which I used to calculate the buy-to-build indicator for the United States from the 1880s until 2012. In short, the buy-to-build indicator shows how much corporations are spending on buying other corporations (that is, on mergers and acquisitions) relative to how much they are spending on new productive capacity (fixed capital formation). It gives an indication of whether corporations prefer to expand by buying or by building.

As I no longer have access to those expensive databases, I thought I should update the buy-to-build indicator using an open source. Fortunately, the Institute for Mergers, Acquisitions, and Alliances (IMAA) produces data on expenditure on mergers and acquisitions using those same expensive databases and makes them freely available. I have therefore used them to update my estimates to 2017.



Publication Type


Commentary on

The Buy-to-Build Indicator: New Estimates for Britain and the United States and a Comment
Francis, Joseph and Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2013). Review of Capital as Power. Vol. 1. No. 1, October. pp. 63-78. (Article - Journal; English).


Britain M&A measurement methodology United States


BN Comparative
BN Region - North America
BN Data & Statistics
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Business Enterprise
BN Methodology
BN Region - Europe

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

05 Sep 2018 01:01

Last Modified

08 Nov 2018 01:30


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