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On using relative prices to measure capital-specific technological progress

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  • Milton Marquis
  • Bharat Trehan

Abstract

Recently, Greenwood, Hercowitz and Krusell (GHK) have identified the relative price of (new) capital with capital-specific technological progress. In a two-sector growth model, however, the relative price of capital equals the ratio of the productivity processes in the two sectors. Restrictions from this model are used with data on wages and prices to construct measures of productivity growth and test the GHK identification, which is easily rejected by the data. This raises questions about various measures of the contribution that capital-specific technological progress might make to the economy. This identification also induces a negative correlation between the resulting measures of capital-specific and economy-wide technological change, which potentially explains why papers employing this identification find that capital-specific technological change accelerated in the mid-1970s. We impose structure on the productivity measures based on their long run behavior and find evidence of a slowdown in productivity in the 1970s that is common to both sectors and an acceleration in the mid-1990s that is exclusive to the capital sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2005-02.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2005-02

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Keywords: Prices ; Technology;

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References

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  1. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1996. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," RCER Working Papers 420, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
  4. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  6. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  7. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2002. "Technology shocks matter," Working Paper Series, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago WP-02-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
  9. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 2000. "The IT revolution : is it evident in the productivity numbers?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 49-78.
  10. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 2002. "What Explains the Industrial Revolution in East Asia? Evidence From the Factor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 502-526, June.
  11. Hulten, Charles R, 1973. "Divisia Index Numbers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1017-25, November.
  12. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Matteo Iacoviello & Fabio Schiantarelli & Scott Schuh, 2007. "Input and output inventories in general equilibrium," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 07-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Burkhard Heer & Alfred Maussner & Bernd Süssmuth, 2013. "Cyclical Asset Returns in the Consumption and Investment Goods Sector," CESifo Working Paper Series 4364, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Araujo, Ricardo Azevedo & Lima, Gilberto Tadeu, 2011. "Embodied technological change, capital sectoral allocation and export-led growth," MPRA Paper 29810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Peter Ireland & Scott Schuh, 2008. "Productivity and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance: Interpreting the Past and Predicting the Future with a Two-Sector Real Business Cycle Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 473-492, July.
  5. Milton H. Marquis & Wuttipan Tantivong & Bharat Trehan, 2009. "The role of capital service-life in a model with heterogenous labor and vintage capital," Working Paper Series 2009-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Peter N. Ireland, 2009. "On the Welfare Cost of Inflation and the Recent Behavior of Money Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1040-52, June.
  7. Bharat Trehan, 2007. "Changing productivity trends," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue aug31.
  8. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2012. "Capital-Specific Technological Change and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, Economia civile, vol. 65(262), pages 275-311.
  9. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2008. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Investment Sectoral Allocation and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting], ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of G 200807211332520, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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