The shape of aggregate production functions: evidence from estimates of the World Technology Frontier
AbstractThe article provides multifaceted evidence on the shape of the aggregate country-level production function, derived from the World Technology Frontier, estimated on the basis of annual data on inputs and output in 19 highly developed OECD countries in the period 1970–2004. A comparison of its estimates based on Data Envelopment Analysis and Bayesian Stochastic Frontier Analysis uncovers a number of significant discrepancies between the nonparametric estimates of the frontier and the Cobb–Douglas and translog production functions in terms of implied efficiency levels, partial elasticities, and returns-to-scale properties. Furthermore, the two latter characteristics as well as elasticities of substitution are found to differ markedly across countries and time, providing strong evidence against the constant-returns-to-scale (CRS) Cobb–Douglas specification, frequently used in related literature. We also find notable departures from perfect substitutability between unskilled and skilled labor, consistent with the hypotheses of skill-biased technical change and capital–skill complementarity. In the Appendix, as a corollary from our results, we have also conducted a series of development accounting and growth accounting exercises.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute in its series National Bank of Poland Working Papers with number 102.
Date of creation: 2011
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world technology frontier; aggregate production function; Data Envelopment Analysis; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; partial elasticity; returns to scale; substitutability;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O14 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
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