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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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  1. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557, February.
  2. 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.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809, October.
  4. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2009. "Identifying the elasticity of substitution with biased technical change," Working Paper Series 1001, European Central Bank.
  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. Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Pérez Sebastián & John Duffy, 2002. "Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence From A Panel Of Countries," Working Papers. Serie AD 2002-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  8. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2010. "In dubio pro CES - Supply estimation with mis-specified technical change," Working Paper Series 1175, European Central Bank.
  12. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Klump, Rainer & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2011. "The normalized CES production function: theory and empirics," Working Paper Series 1294, European Central Bank.
  2. Matteo Ghilardi & Raffaele Rossi, 2014. "Aggregate Stability and Balanced-Budget Rules," IMF Working Papers 14/23, International Monetary Fund.

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