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Human capital aggregation and relative wages across countries

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  • Pandey, Manish

Abstract

Most of the growth accounting literature relies on an aggregate production function to determine the contribution of factors of production relative to that of total factor productivity (TFP) in explaining differences in incomes across countries. I show that the importance of TFP in accounting for cross-country income differences depends crucially on how skilled and unskilled labor are aggregated. Further, cross-country evidence on the relationship between relative wages and relative endowments of skilled and unskilled labor suggests that the two types of labor should not be aggregated into a single factor of production. Growth accounting decomposition using a commonly used nested-CES aggregate production function that allows skilled and unskilled labor to be used as separate factors of production results in a significantly greater role for TFP in accounting for income differences across countries than that found by past studies. The finding that different aggregate production functions lead to significantly different conclusions about the role of TFP in accounting for cross-country income differences calls for a more general approach to understanding such differences.

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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: 1587-1601

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:1587-1601

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

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Keywords: Growth accounting Aggregation Human capital Relative wages;

References

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  1. Karnit Flug & Zvi Hercowitz, 2000. "Equipment Investment and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor: International Evidence," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 461-485, July.
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  7. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Stokey, Nancy L, 1996. " Free Trade, Factor Returns, and Factor Accumulation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 421-47, December.
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  17. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. André Mollick, 2011. "The world elasticity of labor substitution across education levels," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 769-785, December.
  2. Jakub Growiec & Christian Groth, 2012. "On aggregating human capital across heterogeneous cohorts," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 134, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  3. Jakub Growiec, 2010. "On the measurement of technological progress across countries," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 73, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  4. Arne Henningsen & Géraldine Henningsen, 2011. "Econometric Estimation of the “Constant Elasticity of Substitution" Function in R: Package micEconCES," IFRO Working Paper 2011/9, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  5. Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Productivity differences across OECD countries, 1970–2000: the world technology frontier revisited," MPRA Paper 11605, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. GROWIEC, Jakub, 2007. "Human capital, aggregation, and growth," CORE Discussion Papers 2007056, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. 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.

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