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Are prior restrictions on factor shares appropriate in growth accounting estimations?

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  • Oduor, Jacob

Abstract

Several studies make different prior assumptions on the magnitude of factor shares and scale of production when accounting for economic growth. The initial Solow estimations for instance assumed a capital share of 0.3 and constant returns to scale. Most authors have subsequently used the same restrictions just because they were used in previous studies even when production in the countries under study may not necessarily be taking place under constant returns to scale and capital share may be a value not any close to 0.3. This is likely to distort growth accounting estimation results. This study investigates whether these prior restrictions on factor shares and scale of production as commonly used in the literature are appropriate and whether the Solow assumptions are likely biased even in developed countries. Using Kenyan data and structural vector autoregressions, the main findings are; first, in all cases of the unrestricted estimations, the share of physical capital is less than 0.16. An estimation which imposes 0.3 as the share of physical capital in this case would therefore not be in line with the data generating process leading to biased results. Secondly, in all cases, the explanatory power of the model decreases when the restrictions are imposed implying that the restrictions are not appropriate in growth accounting exercises. The paper further disputes the "styled fact" in growth studies that the Solow assumptions may be relevant for developed countries but not developing countries and concludes that the Solow assumptions may be biased even in developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Oduor, Jacob, 2010. "Are prior restrictions on factor shares appropriate in growth accounting estimations?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-604, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:27:y:2010:i:2:p:595-604
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cho, Yoonyoung & Tien, Bienvenue N., 2014. "Sub-Saharan Africa's recent growth spurt : an analysis of the sources of growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6862, The World Bank.
    2. Brock Smith, 2016. "The Resource Curse Exorcised: Evidence from a Panel of Countries," OxCarre Working Papers 165, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. repec:kap:iaecre:v:19:y:2013:i:2:p:167-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Muhanji, Stella & Malikane, Christopher & Ojah, Kalu, 2013. "Price and liquidity puzzles of a monetary shock: Evidence from indebted African economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 620-630.
    5. Karl Farmer & Matthias Schelnast, 2013. "Public Debt Reduction in Advanced Countries and Its Impact on Emerging Countries," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 19(2), pages 167-188, May.
    6. repec:eco:journ1:2017-03-60 is not listed on IDEAS

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