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A new class of production functions and an argument against purely labor-augmenting technical change

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  • Jakub Growiec

Abstract

This paper follows Jones (2005) in his approach to deriving the global production function from microfoundations. His framework is generalized by allowing for dependence between the Pareto distributions of labor- and capital-augmenting developments. Using the Clayton copula family to capture this dependence, we derive a 'Clayton-Pareto' class of production functions that nests both the Cobb-Douglas and the CES. Embedding the resultant production function in a neoclassical growth framework, we draw conclusions for the long-run direction of technical change. Jones' result of Cobb-Douglas global production functions and purely laboraugmenting technical change hinges on the assumption of independence of marginal Pareto distributions. In our more general case, the shape of local production functions matters for the shape of the global production function, and technical change augments both factors in the long run. Furthermore, the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor may exceed unity and thus yield endogenous growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The International Society for Economic Theory in its journal International Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 4 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 483-502

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ijethy:v:4:y:2008:i:4:p:483-502

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  1. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  2. David N. Weil, 1996. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," Working Papers 96-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. de La Grandville, Olivier, 1989. "In Quest of the Slutsky Diamond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 468-81, June.
  4. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549, May.
  5. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," CEPR Discussion Papers 2584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  7. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
  8. Olivier de La Grandville & Rainer Klump, 2000. "Economic Growth and the Elasticity of Substitution: Two Theorems and Some Suggestions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 282-291, March.
  9. Revankar, Nagesh S, 1971. "A Class of Variable Elasticity of Substitution Production Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(1), pages 61-71, January.
  10. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-78, September.
  11. Yuhn, Ky-hyang, 1991. "Economic Growth, Technical Change Biases, and the Elasticity of Substitution: A Test of the De La Grandville Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 340-46, May.
  12. Ola Olsson, 2005. "Technological Opportunity and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 31-53, 01.
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, 03.
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Cited by:
  1. Harashima, Taiji, 2011. "A Model of Total Factor Productivity Built on Hayek’s View of Knowledge: What Really Went Wrong with Socialist Planned Economies?," MPRA Paper 29107, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Jakub Growiec, 2012. "Factor-augmenting technology choice and monopolistic competition," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 129, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  3. Jakub Growiec, 2012. "The World Technology Frontier: What Can We Learn from the US States?-super-," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(6), pages 777-807, December.
  4. Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Productivity differences across OECD countries, 1970–2000: the world technology frontier revisited," MPRA Paper 11605, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2013. "Medium Run Redux," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(04), pages 695-727, June.
  6. Harashima, Taiji, 2009. "A Theory of Total Factor Productivity and the Convergence Hypothesis: Workers’ Innovations as an Essential Element," MPRA Paper 15508, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Knife-edge conditions in the modeling of long-run growth regularities," MPRA Paper 9956, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jakub Growiec, 2011. "A Microfoundation for Normalized CES Production Functions with Factor-Augmenting Technical Change," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_013, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2008. "Medium run redux: technical change, factor shares and frictions in the euro area," Working Paper Series 0915, European Central Bank.
  10. Lemin Wu & Rohan Dutta & David K Levine & Nicholas W Papageorge, 2014. "Entertaining Malthus: Bread, Circuses and Economic Growth," Levine's Bibliography 786969000000000853, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Miguel A León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2012. "Non-Balanced Growth and Production Technology Estimation," Studies in Economics 1204, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  12. Harashima, Taiji, 2012. "A Theory of Intelligence and Total Factor Productivity: Value Added Reflects the Fruits of Fluid Intelligence," MPRA Paper 43151, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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