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Aggregation, the skill premium, and the two-level production function

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  • León-Ledesma, Miguel A.
  • McAdam, Peter
  • Willman, Alpo

Abstract

We examine the two-level nested Constant Elasticity of Substitution production function where both capital and labor are disaggregated in two classes. We propose a normalized system estimation method to retrieve estimates of the inter- and intra-class elasticities of substitution and factoraugmenting technical progress coefficients. The system is estimated for US data for the 1963-2006 period. Our findings reveal that skilled and unskilled labor classes are gross substitutes, capital structures and equipment are gross complements, and aggregate capital and aggregate labor are gross complements with an elasticity of substitution close to 0.5. We discuss the implications of our findings and methodology for the analysis of the causes of the increase in the skill premium and, by implication, inequality in a growing economy. JEL Classification: E25, J23, J24, O40

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1400.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111400

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Keywords: Aggregation; Factor Substitution; Factor-Augmenting Technical Progress; skill-premium; Two-level CES production function;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Duffy & Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, 2004. "Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence from a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 327-344, February.
  3. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2003. "The Skill Bias Effect of Technological and Organisational Change: Evidence and Policy Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 934, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Miguel A. Le�n-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2010. "Identifying the Elasticity of Substitution with Biased Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1330-57, September.
  5. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2010. "In dubio pro CES - Supply estimation with mis-specified technical change," Working Paper Series, European Central Bank 1175, European Central Bank.
  8. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, January.
  9. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
  10. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2007. "Factor Substitution and Factor-Augmenting Technical Progress in the United States: A Normalized Supply-Side System Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 183-192, February.
  11. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557, March.
  12. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2012. "The Normalized Ces Production Function: Theory And Empirics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 769-799, December.
  2. Matteo Ghilardi & Raffaele Rossi, 2011. "Aggregate Stability and Balanced-Budget Rules," School of Economics Discussion Papers, School of Economics, University of Surrey 0411, School of Economics, University of Surrey.

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