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That elusive elasticity and the ubiquitous bias: Is panel data a panacea?

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  • Smith, James

Abstract

There is often assumed to be a unit elasticity of substitution between capital and labour. But estimates based on neoclassical capital demand equations frequently find a smaller value. Recent time-series work for the United States and Canada has suggested that, once the biases inherent in estimating cointegrating vectors are properly accounted for, the elasticity could indeed be close to 1. We investigate this possibility for the United Kingdom. First we use aggregate data and find that the estimated elasticity is in the neighbourhood of 0.4. We then exploit a unique industry-level dataset for the United Kingdom to try and further pinpoint our estimates. Estimates using dynamic panel data methods are close to our benchmark estimate using aggregate data, providing a robust statistical rejection of a unit elasticity in UK data.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, James, 2008. "That elusive elasticity and the ubiquitous bias: Is panel data a panacea?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 760-779, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:30:y:2008:i:2:p:760-779
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    Cited by:

    1. Chirinko, Robert S., 2008. "[sigma]: The long and short of it," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 671-686, June.
    2. Fatica, Serena, 2017. "Business capital accumulation and the user cost: is there a heterogeneity bias?," Working Papers 2017-11, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Ispra site).
    3. Jane Gravelle, 2010. "Economic Effects of Investment Subsidies," Chapters,in: Tax Reform in Open Economies, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Luciano BOGGIO & Vincenzo DALL’AGLIO & Marco MAGNANI, 2010. "On Labour Shares in Recent Decades: A Survey," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 118(3), pages 283-333.
    5. repec:wsi:afexxx:v:12:y:2017:i:02:n:s2010495217500087 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nadja Dwenger, 2014. "User Cost Elasticity of Capital Revisited," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(321), pages 161-186, January.
    7. Coulibaly Brahima & Millar Jonathan N., 2011. "The "Elusive" Capital-User Cost Elasticity Revisited," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-41, September.
    8. Junge, Georg & Kugler, Peter, 2017. "Optimal equity capital requirements for Swiss G-SIBs," Working papers 2017/11, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

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