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The normalized CES production function: theory and empirics

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  • Klump, Rainer
  • McAdam, Peter
  • Willman, Alpo

Abstract

The elasticity of substitution between capital and labor and, in turn, the direction of technical change are critical parameters in many fields of economics. Until recently, though, the application of production functions with non-unitary substitution elasticities (i.e., non Cobb Douglas) was hampered by empirical and theoretical uncertainties. As has recently been revealed, “normalization” of production functions and production-technology systems holds out the promise of resolving many of those uncertainties. We survey and critically assess the intrinsic links between production (as conceptualized in a macroeconomic production function), factor substitution (as made most explicit in Constant Elasticity of Substitution functions) and normalization (defined by the fixing of baseline values for relevant variables). First, we recall how the normalized CES function came into existence and what normalization implies for its formal properties. Then we deal with the key role of normalization in recent advances in the theory of business cycles and of economic growth. Next, we discuss the benefits normalization brings for empirical estimation and empirical growth research. Finally, we identify promising areas of future research on normalization and factor substitution. JEL Classification: C22, E23, E25, 030, 051

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1294.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111294

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Keywords: Constant Elasticity of Substitution Production Function; estimation; Factor-Augmenting Technical Change; Growth Theory; Identification; Normalization;

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Cited by:
  1. Temple, Jonathan, 2012. "The calibration of CES production functions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 294-303.
  2. Saltari, Enrico & Federici, Daniela, 2013. "Elasticity of substitution and technical progress: Is there a misspecification problem?," MPRA Paper 52194, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Gervas Huxley & Mike Peacey, 2014. "A Simple Model of Learning Styles," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/322, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Growiec, Jakub, 2013. "A microfoundation for normalized CES production functions with factor-augmenting technical change," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 2336-2350.
  5. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2013. "Medium Run Redux," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(04), pages 695-727, June.
  6. Growiec, Jakub, 2013. "Factor-augmenting technology choice and monopolistic competition," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 86-94.
  7. 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.
  8. Kan, Kamhon & Wang, Yong, 2013. "Comparing China and India: A factor accumulation perspective," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 879-894.
  9. Cantore, Cristiano & Levine, Paul, 2011. "Getting Normalization Right: Dealing with ‘Dimensional Constants’ in Macroeconomics," Dynare Working Papers 9, CEPREMAP.
  10. Cristiano Cantore & Miguel A. Leon-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2013. "Shocking Stuff: Technology, Hours, and Factor Substitution," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0913, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  11. Xue, Jianpo & Yip, Chong K., 2013. "Aggregate elasticity of substitution and economic growth: A synthesis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 60-75.
  12. Estelle P. Dauchy, 2013. "The Efficiency Cost of Asset Taxation in the U.S. after Accounting for Intangible Assets," Working Papers w0199, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  13. DURAND-LASSERVE, Olivier & Pierru , Axel & SMEERS, Yves, 2012. "Sensitivity of policy simulation to benchmark scenarios in CGE models: illustration with carbon leakage," CORE Discussion Papers 2012063, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Enghin Atalay, 2012. "Materials Prices and Productivity," Working Papers 12-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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