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Factor Substitution And Economic Growth: A Unified Approach

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  • Xue, Jianpo
  • Yip, Chong K.

Abstract

This paper provides a unified approach to characterizing the relation between factor substitution and economic growth in different one-sector growth models (namely, the Solow, Ramsey, and Diamond models). Our main finding is that if better factor substitution raises savings in the steady state, then a higher per capita income results. There are two channels by which factor substitution affects savings: the positive efficiency effect via income and the ambiguous distribution effect via factor income shares. If the efficiency effect dominates, then a higher elasticity of substitution leads to a higher level of per capita steady-state income. In transition, factor substitution affects the rate of convergence both directly and through the equilibrium profit share. The former arises from diminishing marginal productivity of capital whereas the latter reflects its relative scarcity. Depending on the interaction of these effects, the net outcomes are characterized.

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  • Xue, Jianpo & Yip, Chong K., 2012. "Factor Substitution And Economic Growth: A Unified Approach," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 625-656, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:16:y:2012:i:04:p:625-656_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Debdulal Mallick, 2012. "The role of capital-labour substitution in economic growth," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 89-101, April.
    2. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2012. "The Normalized Ces Production Function: Theory And Empirics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 769-799, December.
    3. Xue, Jianpo & Yip, Chong K., 2013. "Aggregate elasticity of substitution and economic growth: A synthesis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 60-75.
    4. Manuel Gómez, 2016. "Factor substitution is an engine of growth in a model with productive public expenditure," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 37-48, January.
    5. Gómez, Manuel A., 2018. "Factor substitution and convergence speed in the neoclassical model with elastic labor supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 89-92.
    6. Kemnitz, Alexander & Knoblach, Michael, 2020. "Endogenous sigma-augmenting technological change: An R&D-based approach," CEPIE Working Papers 02/20, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    7. Gómez, Manuel A., 2017. "Factor substitution and long-run growth in the Lucas model with elastic labor supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 180-184.
    8. Manuel A. Gómez, 2020. "Factor substitution, long‐run growth, and speed of convergence in the one‐sector convex endogenous‐growth model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 2-21, February.
    9. Gómez, Manuel A., 2018. "Economic growth and factor substitution with elastic labor supply," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 49-57.
    10. Fabian Stöckl, 2020. "Is Substitutability the New Efficiency? Endogenous Investment in the Elasticity of Substitution between Clean and Dirty Energy," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1886, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Irmen, Andreas, 2011. "Steady-state growth and the elasticity of substitution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1215-1228, August.
    12. Gómez, Manuel A., 2015. "Capital–labor substitution and long-run growth in a model with physical and human capital," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 106-113.
    13. Manuel Gómez, 2016. "Factor substitution is an engine of growth in a model with productive public expenditure," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 37-48, January.
    14. Manuel Gómez, 2014. "Optimal size of the government: the role of the elasticity of substitution," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 29-53, February.
    15. Jianpo Xue & Chong K. Yip, 2015. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Elasticity of Substitution, and Macroeconomic (In)Stability," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(2), pages 196-218, April.

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