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Openness To Trade as a Determinant of the Elasticity of Substitution between Capital and Labor

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  • Marianne Saam

Abstract

Some recent work on economic growth considers the aggregate elasticity of substitution between capital and labor as a measure of economic flexibility. It is thought to depend on technological and institutional determinants. I study how a openness to trade affects the aggregate elasticity of substitution of a large country in a Heckscher-Ohlin model with trade in intermediates and equalization of factor prices. With constant capital stocks, trade enlarges the set of available intermediates in the same way as a rise in the elasticity of substitution in their production would. An optimal tariff corresponds to an additional rise in the elasticity of substitution. In two growing economies, trade only rises the elasticity of substitution of the GDP function of the faster growing country.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c010_013.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c010_013

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Keywords: aggregate elasticity of substitution; normalization; Heckscher-Ohlin model; capital accumulation;

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References

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  1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  2. Klump, Rainer & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2004. "Factor substitution and factor augmenting technical progress in the US: a normalized supply-side system approach," Working Paper Series 0367, European Central Bank.
  3. Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Growth and Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 57-84, February.
  4. Benabou, Roland, 2005. "Inequality, Technology and the Social Contract," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1595-1638 Elsevier.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Marianne Saam, 2004. "Distributional Effects of Growth and the Elasticity of Substitution," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_031, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  8. Klump, Rainer & Preissler, Harald, 2000. " CES Production Functions and Economic Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 41-56, March.
  9. Antràs Pol, 2004. "Is the U.S. Aggregate Production Function Cobb-Douglas? New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, April.
  10. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2003. "Information, International Substitutability, and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 775-791, June.
  11. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "International trade and labor-demand elasticities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 27-56, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Kilponen, Juha & Viren, Matti, 2008. "Why do growth rates differ? Evidence from cross-country data on private sector production," Research Discussion Papers 13/2008, Bank of Finland.

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