Testing production functions used in empirical growth studies
We estimate and test two alternative functional forms representing the aggregate production function for a panel of countries: the extended neoclassical growth model, and a mincerian formulation of schooling-returns to skills. Estimation is performed using instrumentalvariable techniques, and both functional forms are confronted using a Box-Cox test, since human capital inputs enter in levels in the mincerian specification and in logs in the extended neoclassical growth model. Our evidence rejects the extended neoclassical growth model in favor of the mincerian specification, with an estimated capital share of about 42%, a marginal return to education of about 7.5% per year, and an estimated productivity growth of about 1.4% per year. Differences in productivity cannot be disregarded as an explanation of why output per worker varies so much across countries: a variance decomposition exercise shows that productivity alone explains 54% of the variation in output per worker across countries.
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