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Identifying the Elasticity of Substitution with Biased Technical Change

Author

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  • Miguel A. León-Ledesma
  • Peter McAdam
  • Alpo Willman

Abstract

The capital-labor substitution elasticity and technical biases in production are critical parameters. The received wisdom claims their joint identification is infeasible. We challenge that interpretation. Putting the new approach of "normalized" production functions at the heart of a Monte Carlo analysis we identify the conditions under which identification is feasible and robust. The key result is that jointly modeling the production function and first-order conditions is superior to single-equation approaches especially when merged with "normalization." Our results will have fundamental implications for production-function estimation under non-neutral technical change, for understanding the empirical relevance of normalization and variability underlying past empirical studies. (JEL E22, O33, O41)

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2010. "Identifying the Elasticity of Substitution with Biased Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1330-1357, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1330-57
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1330
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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