Genesis and evolution of concept 'investment'




investment, economic theory, capital, theoretical schools in economy


The paper shows evolution of scientific views in determining the intension of 'investment' and its role in the development of economy. The main regularities of the historical process related to formation and development of scientific knowledge of investment are examined. The author ascertains the interrelation between scientific theoretical conceptions and their impact on transformation of economic processes.

There are four stages in formation of scientific knowledge of the essence and meaning of the category 'investment' identified:

Stage 1: from the first commercial relations to great geological discoveries. At that stage the concept of 'investment' was not yet introduced in science and was used merely to define the major part of a loan i.e. the credit body;

Stage 2: the 17th - 19th centuries (the Schools of Mercantilists and Physiacrats). The category of 'investment' was identified with money and wealth, which can be augmented through commerce, and subsequently with the concept of 'capital' to be channeled for export-oriented production;

Stage 3: the 19th century - the second half of the 20th century (the Classical School, marginalism, Marxism, the Neoclassical School) saw the formation of a complex theory of investment, understanding of the investment process gained and a comprehensive capital market performance model developed: there were factors influencing the saving and investment processes identified. The interrelation of such categories as 'saving', 'interest' and 'investment' was substantiated;

Stage 4: the second half of the 20th century - up to date (Keynesianism, institutionalism, neo-Keynesian theory). At that development stage of theoretical conceptions of investment the methodology for analyzing the investment process and evaluating the efficiency of investing and effects of investment in handling social, political and some other challenges was further developed.

Author Biography

Nina Shvetsova, Donetsk National University

Ph.D. Fellow


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How to Cite

Shvetsova, N. (2015). Genesis and evolution of concept ’investment’. Skhid, (6(132), 61–66.