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A Brief History of Production Functions

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  • Mishra, SK

Abstract

This paper gives an outline of evolution of the concept and econometrics of production function, which was one of the central apparatus of neo-classical economics. It shows how the famous Cobb-Douglas production function was indeed invented by von Thunen and Wicksell, how the CES production function was formulated, how the elasticity of substitution was made a variable and finally how Sato’s function incorporated biased technical changes. It covers almost all specifications proposed during 1950-1975, and further the LINEX production functions and incorporation of energy as an input. The paper in divided into (1) single product functions, (2) joint product functions, and (3) aggregate production functions. It also discusses the ‘capital controversy’ and its impacts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5254.

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Date of creation: 09 Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5254

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Keywords: Production function; Cobb-Douglas; CES; Transcendental; translog; Zellner-Revankar; VES; Bruno; Kadiyala; Diewert; Kummel; Mundlak; Engineering production function; Multi-output; joint product; Data Envelopment; Household production function; Humbug production function; capital controversy; Cambridge controversy;

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References

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  1. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  2. Harcourt,G. C., 1972. "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521096720, October.
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  4. Chizmar, John F & Zak, Thomas A, 1983. "Modeling Multiple Outputs in Educational Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 17-22, May.
  5. A. Cohen & G. Harcourt., 2009. "Whatever Happened to the Cambridge Capital Theory Controversies?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 8.
  6. Mishra, SK, 2006. "A Note on Numerical Estimation of Sato’s Two-Level CES Production Function," MPRA Paper 1019, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Dec 2006.
  7. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
  8. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Thrall, Robert M., 1990. "Recent developments in DEA : The mathematical programming approach to frontier analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 7-38.
  9. Diewert, W E, 1971. "An Application of the Shephard Duality Theorem: A Generalized Leontief Production Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 481-507, May-June.
  10. George J. Stigler, 1952. "The Ricardian Theory of Value and Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 187.
  11. Reuben Gronau, 1976. "Leisure, Home Production and Work--The Theory of The Allocation of Time Revisited," NBER Working Papers 0137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Berndt, Ernst R & Wood, David O, 1979. "Engineering and Econometric Interpretations of Energy-Capital Complementarity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 342-54, June.
  13. Kümmel, Reiner, 1982. "The impact of energy on industrial growth," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 189-203.
  14. Sato, Ryuzo, 1975. "The Most General Class of CES Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(5-6), pages 999-1003, Sept.-Nov.
  15. Lloyd, Peter J, 1969. "Elementary Geometric/Arithmetic Series and Early Production Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(1), pages 21-34, Jan./Feb..
  16. Dhrymes, Phoebus J & Mitchell, B M, 1969. "Estimation of Joint Production Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 732-36, October.
  17. Revankar, Nagesh S, 1971. "A Class of Variable Elasticity of Substitution Production Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(1), pages 61-71, January.
  18. Wibe, Soren A, 1984. "Engineering Production Functions: A Survey," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(204), pages 401-11, November.
  19. Sudhanshu Mishra, 2007. "Least squares estimation of joint production functions by the differential evolution method of global optimization," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(51), pages 1-13.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  21. Graham, John W & Green, Carole A, 1984. "Estimating the Parameters of a Household Production Function with Joint Products," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 277-82, May.
  22. Fare, Rolf, 1986. " On the Existence and Equivalence of Three Joint Production Functions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(4), pages 669-74.
  23. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1978. "Economics among the Sciences," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 505, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  24. Avi J. Cohen, 2003. "Retrospectives: Whatever Happened to the Cambridge Capital Theory Controversies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 199-214, Winter.
  25. Hanoch, Giora, 1970. "Homotheticity in joint production," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 423-426, December.
  26. Vinod, Hrishikesh D, 1969. "Econometrics of Joint Production-A Reply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 739-40, October.
  27. Harris, Donald J, 1973. "Capital, Distribution, and the Aggregate Production Function," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 100-13, March.
  28. Salvadori, Neri & Steedman, Ian, 1988. "Joint Production Analysis in a Sraffian Framework," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 165-95, June.
  29. Vinod, H. D., 1976. "Canonical ridge and econometrics of joint production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 147-166, May.
  30. Pollak, Robert A & Wachter, Michael L, 1975. "The Relevance of the Household Production Function and Its Implications for the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 255-77, April.
  31. Shaikh, Anwar, 1974. "Laws of Production and Laws of Algebra: The Humbug Production Function," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 115-20, February.
  32. Rao, Potluri, 1969. "A Note on Econometrics of Joint Production," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 737-38, October.
  33. Samuelson, Paul A, 1979. "Paul Douglas's Measurement of Production Functions and Marginal Productivities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 923-39, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. T.V.S.Ramamohan Rao, 2011. "Contemporary Relevance and Ongoing Controversies Related to the CES Production Function," Journal of Quantitative Economics, The Indian Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 36-57, July.
  2. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09i29kgilc0 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Frédéric Reynès, 2011. "The cobb-douglas function as an approximation of other functions," Sciences Po publications 2011-21, Sciences Po.
  4. Romeo Ionescu, 2012. "Technical Progress as a Solution for Romania and Greece to Face the Global Crisis’ Problems and the Bad Forecasts," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 33-46.
  5. Terheggen, Anne, 2010. "The new kid in the forest: the impact of China's resource demand on Gabon's tropical timber value chain," MPRA Paper 37982, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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