On The Rental Price Of Capital And The Profit Rate: The Perils And Pitfalls Of Total Factor Productivity Growth
AbstractThis paper considers the implications of the conceptual difference between the rental price of capital, embedded in the neoclassical cost identity (output equals the cost of labour plus the cost of capital), and used in growth accounting studies; and the profit rate, which can be derived from the national income and product accounts (NIPA). The neoclassical identity is a "virtual" identity in that it depends on a series of assumptions (constant returns to scale and perfectly competitive factor markets). The income side of the NIPA also provides an accounting identity for output as the sum of the wage bill plus the surplus. This identity, however, is a "real" one, in the sense that it does not depend on any assumptions and thus it holds always. It is shown that because the neoclassical cost identity and the income accounting identity according to the NIPA are formally equivalent expressions, estimations of aggregate production functions and growth accounting studies are tautologies. Likewise, the test of the hypothesis of competitive markets using Hall's (1988) framework gives rise to a null hypothesis that cannot be rejected statistically.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2004-10.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Jesus Felipe & J. S. L. Mccombie, 2007. "On the Rental Price of Capital and the Profit Rate: The Perils and Pitfalls of Total Factor Productivity Growth," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 317-345.
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Capital; Investment; Capacity
- E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
- B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
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