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Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence from a Panel of Countries

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  • John Duffy

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Chris Papageorgiou

    (Louisiana State University)

  • Fidel Perez-Sebastian

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

Since Griliches (1969), researchers have been intrigued by the idea that physical capital and skilled labor are more complementary than physical capital and unskilled labor. In this paper we consider the cross-country evidence for capital-skill complementarity using a time-series cross-section panel of 73 developed and less developed countries over a 25-year period. We focus on three empirical issues. First, what is the best specification of the aggregate production technology to address the capital-skill complementarity hypothesis? Second, how should we measure skilled labor? Finally, is there any cross-country evidence in support of the capital-skill complementarity hypothesis? Our main finding is that there is some empirical support for the capital-skill complementarity hypothesis in our macro panel data set. © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 327-344

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:1:p:327-344

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  1. 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.
  2. Fallon, P R & Layard, P R G, 1975. "Capital-Skill Complementarity, Income Distribution, and Output Accounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 279-301, April.
  3. Karnit Flug & Zui Hercowitz, 1996. "Equipment Investment and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor: International Evidence," IDB Publications 5878, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Eli Berman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Thursby, Jerry, 1980. "Alternative CES Estimation Techniques," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 295-99, May.
  6. Bergstrom, Villy & Panas, Epaminondas E, 1992. "How Robust Is the Capital-Skill Complementarity Hypothesis?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 540-46, August.
  7. Kumar, T Krishna & Gapinski, James H, 1974. "Nonlinear Estimation of the CES Production Parameters: A Monte Carlo Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-67, November.
  8. Duffy, John & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2000. " A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation of the Aggregate Production Function Specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 87-120, March.
  9. 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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