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On using relative prices to measure capital-specific technological progress

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  • Marquis, Milton H.
  • Trehan, Bharat

Abstract

Recently, Greenwood, Hercowitz and Krusell (GHK) have identified the relative price of (new) capital with capital-specific technological progress. In a two-sector growth model, however, the relative price of capital equals the ratio of the productivity processes in the two sectors. Restrictions from this model are used with data on wages and prices to construct measures of productivity growth and test the GHK identification, which is easily rejected by the data. This raises questions about various measures of the contribution that capital-specific technological progress might make to the economy. This identification also induces a negative correlation between the resulting measures of capital-specific and economy-wide technological change, which potentially explains why papers employing this identification find that capital-specific technological change accelerated in the mid-1970s. We impose structure on the productivity measures based on their long-run behavior and find evidence of a slowdown in productivity in the 1970s that is common to both sectors and an acceleration in the mid-1990s that is exclusive to the capital sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1390-1406

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:1390-1406

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

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Keywords: Productivity Technological change;

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  1. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  2. Hulten, Charles R, 1973. "Divisia Index Numbers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1017-25, November.
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  4. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1996. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," RCER Working Papers 420, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
  7. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 2000. "The IT revolution : is it evident in the productivity numbers?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 49-78.
  8. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  9. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
  10. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2002. "Technology shocks matter," Working Paper Series WP-02-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  12. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 2002. "What Explains the Industrial Revolution in East Asia? Evidence From the Factor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 502-526, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2008. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Investment Sectoral Allocation and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807211332520, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  2. Matteo Iacoviello & Fabio Schiantarelli & Scott Schuh, 2010. "Input and output inventories in general equilibrium," International Finance Discussion Papers 1004, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Peter Ireland & Scott Schuh, 2008. "Productivity and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance: Interpreting the Past and Predicting the Future with a Two-Sector Real Business Cycle Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 473-492, July.
  4. Peter N. Ireland, 2008. "On the Welfare Cost of Inflation and the Recent Behavior of Money Demand," NBER Working Papers 14098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Araujo, Ricardo Azevedo & Lima, Gilberto Tadeu, 2011. "Embodied technological change, capital sectoral allocation and export-led growth," MPRA Paper 29810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Bharat Trehan, 2007. "Changing productivity trends," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue aug31.
  7. Burkhard Heer & Alfred Maussner & Bernd Süssmuth, 2013. "Cyclical Asset Returns in the Consumption and Investment Goods Sector," CESifo Working Paper Series 4364, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2012. "Capital-Specific Technological Change and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 65(262), pages 275-311.
  9. Milton H. Marquis & Wuttipan Tantivong & Bharat Trehan, 2009. "The role of capital service-life in a model with heterogenous labor and vintage capital," Working Paper Series 2009-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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