What is the exact difference between Productive and non-productive investment? There is no hard and fast distinction that I could find. Additionally, Is it correct for me to label non-productive investment as speculative investment?

  • $\begingroup$ How do you define productive investment and how do you define unproductive investment? $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Sep 7, 2020 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @1muflon1 that was the question! $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Sep 7, 2020 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ @user253751 but non-productive investment is not an a term that would have some set definition. Moreover, the OP is asking for the difference between the two. For that we first have to come up with some definition. $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Sep 7, 2020 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @user253751 To show what I mean I seen the word used in papers for an investment that has negative NPV, but I also seen the word to be applied to investments that let’s say help company to capture rents and are unproductive from societal point of view. I also seen the word used in few other contexts as well. Depending on which of the above definitions OP wants to use answer will be different $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Sep 7, 2020 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ @1muflon1 Would it help if I re-worded the question for you? "What does it mean for an investment to be productive or non-productive?" $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Sep 7, 2020 at 18:09


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