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How Important are Human Capital, Physical Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Determining State Economic Growth in the United States, 1840-2000

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Author Info

  • Todd Schoellman

    (Clemson University)

  • Sean Mulholland

    (Stonehill College)

  • Robert Tamura

    (Clemson University)

  • Chad Turner

    (Nicholls State University)

Abstract

This paper introduces a new data set of state-level physical capital in the United States from 1840 to 2000. The new data is combined with measures of the labor force, human capital, land, and output by state to perform traditional accounting decom- positions. Growth in measured inputs accounts for three-fourths of output growth, but variation in the level or growth of measured inputs accounts for only one-third of the variation in the level or growth of output. Our methodology is comparable to that used for cross-country accounting studies, and yields a quantitatively similar conclusion: most cross-state and cross-country variation in levels or growth rates is driven by variation in TFP. One interpretation is that while states have less institu- tional and technological heterogeneity (and consequently less TFP variation), this is matched equally by less input heterogeneity, with the relative importance of TFP and inputs remaining constant throughout the process of output per worker convergence. In this case, the relative importance of inputs and TFP may constitute a robust fact that applies across a variety of settings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 839.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:839

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Cited by:
  1. Jakub Growiec, 2012. "The World Technology Frontier: What Can We Learn from the US States?-super-," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(6), pages 777-807, December.
  2. Laura Obreja Braşoveanu, 2012. "Correlation Between Government and Economic Growth - Specific Features for 10 Nms," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 2(5), pages 14, October.
  3. Hernan J. Moscoso Boedo, 2007. "Optimal Technology and Development," Virginia Economics Online Papers 370, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  4. Areendam Chanda & Bibhudutta Panda, . "Productivity Growth in Goods and Services across US States: What can We Learn from Factor Prices?," Departmental Working Papers 2011-16, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  5. Gabriel Felbermayr & Jasmin Gröschl, 2011. "Within US Trade and the Long Shadow of the American Secession," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 117, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  6. Growiec, Jakub, 2009. "On the Measurement of Technological Progress Across Countries," MPRA Paper 19321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Tamura, Robert & Simon, Curtis & Murphy, Kevin M., 2012. "Black and White Fertility, Differential Baby Booms: The Value of Civil Rights," MPRA Paper 40921, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Kondo, Illenin O., 2013. "Trade Reforms, Foreign Competition, and Labor Market Adjustments in the U.S," International Finance Discussion Papers 1095, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Areendam Chanda & Bibhudutta Panda, . "Unbalanced Productivity Growth in US States: Evidence from Factor Prices," Departmental Working Papers 2012-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  10. Turner, Chad & Tamura, Robert & Schoellman, Todd & Mulholland, Sean, 2011. "Estimating Physical Capital and Land for States and Sectors of the United States, 1850-2000," MPRA Paper 32847, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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