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Productivity Slowdown and Resurgence. The Role of Capital Obsolescence

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  • Patrick Musso

Abstract

In a recent work, Karl Whelan [2003] argues that the hypothesis of balanced growth is firmly rejected by postwar u.s. data. There is some clear evidence that the ratio of real investment to real consumption has exhibited an upward trend since the late 1950s. In this case, the traditional one-sector model of economic growth provides a poor description of the long-run behavior of the u.s. economy. In this paper, I develop a simple two-sector model of economic growth in which the obsolescence of capital goods is endogenous. Numerical simulations of unbalanced growth paths suggest that the rapid decline in the relative price of equipment goods observed since the mid-1960s in the u.s. has shortened the average service-life of equipment, which, in turn, induced a long-lasting underestimation of the growth rate of Total Factor Productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Musso, 2004. "Productivity Slowdown and Resurgence. The Role of Capital Obsolescence," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(6), pages 1215-1239.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_556_1215
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feldstein, Martin S & Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Towards an Economic Theory of Replacement Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(3), pages 393-423, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jérôme Creel & Maurizio Iacopetta, 2015. "Macroeconomic policy and potential growth," Sciences Po publications 2015-15, Sciences Po.
    2. Nicholas Apergis & John Sorros, 2013. "The role of fixed capital depreciations for TFP growth: evidence from firm level panel data estimates," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 37(4), pages 606-621, October.
    3. Raouf Boucekkine & Fernando del Río & Blanca Martínez, 2009. "Technological progress, obsolescence, and depreciation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 440-466, July.
    4. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Hélène Baudchon & Jérôme Creel & Jean-Luc Gaffard & Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux & Patrick Musso & Michel Aglietta & Vladimir Borgy & Jean Chateau & Michel Juillard & Gilles , 2005. "Potential Growth in the EU : Prospects from Technical Progress and Eastern Enlargment," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2500, Sciences Po.
    5. Mukoyama, Toshihiko, 2008. "Endogenous depreciation, mismeasurement of aggregate capital, and the productivity slowdown," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 513-522, March.
    6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/2500 is not listed on IDEAS

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