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The Shape of Production Function and the Direction of Technical Change

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  • Charles I. Jones

Abstract

This paper views the standard production function in macroeconomics as a reduced form and derives its properties from microfoundations. The shape of this production function is governed by the distribution of ideas. If that distribution is Pareto, then two results obtain: the global production function is Cobb-Douglas, and technical change in the long run is labor-augmenting. Kortum (1997) showed that Pareto distributions are necessary if search-based idea models are to exhibit steady-state growth. Here we show that this same assumption delivers the additional results about the shape of the production function and the direction of technical change.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10457.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10457

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  1. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
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  7. Ricardo Lagos, 2006. "A model of TFP," Staff Report 345, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  9. Grabowski, Henry, 2002. "Patents and New Product Development in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries," Working Papers 02-25, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  10. Scherer, Frederic M. & Harhoff, Dietmar & Vopel, Katrin, 1997. "Exploring the Tail of Patented Invention Value Distributions," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-30, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 1998. "Putty-clay and investment: a business cycle analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Whelan, Karl, 2003. " A Two-Sector Approach to Modeling U.S. NIPA Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 627-56, August.
  13. Harrison, Ann, 2005. "Has Globalization Eroded Labor’s Share? Some Cross-Country Evidence," MPRA Paper 39649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Emmanuel M. Drandakis & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "A Model of Induced Invention, Growth and Distribution," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 186, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
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