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On using relative prices to measure capital-specific technological progress

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  • Marquis, Milton H.
  • Trehan, Bharat

Abstract

Recently, Greenwood, Hercowitz and Krusell (GHK) have identified the relative price of (new) capital with capital-specific technological progress. In a two-sector growth model, however, the relative price of capital equals the ratio of the productivity processes in the two sectors. Restrictions from this model are used with data on wages and prices to construct measures of productivity growth and test the GHK identification, which is easily rejected by the data. This raises questions about various measures of the contribution that capital-specific technological progress might make to the economy. This identification also induces a negative correlation between the resulting measures of capital-specific and economy-wide technological change, which potentially explains why papers employing this identification find that capital-specific technological change accelerated in the mid-1970s. We impose structure on the productivity measures based on their long-run behavior and find evidence of a slowdown in productivity in the 1970s that is common to both sectors and an acceleration in the mid-1990s that is exclusive to the capital sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Marquis, Milton H. & Trehan, Bharat, 2008. "On using relative prices to measure capital-specific technological progress," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1390-1406, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:1390-1406
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter N. Ireland, 2009. "On the Welfare Cost of Inflation and the Recent Behavior of Money Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1040-1052, June.
    2. repec:red:issued:14-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Milton H. Marquis & Wuttipan Tantivong & Bharat Trehan, 2009. "The role of capital service-life in a model with heterogenous labor and vintage capital," Working Paper Series 2009-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    4. Peter Ireland & Scott Schuh, 2008. "Productivity and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance: Interpreting the Past and Predicting the Future with a Two-Sector Real Business Cycle Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 473-492, July.
    5. Matteo Iacoviello & Fabio Schiantarelli & Scott Schuh, 2011. "Input And Output Inventories In General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1179-1213, November.
    6. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2012. "Capital-Specific Technological Change and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 65(262), pages 275-311.
    7. Burkhard Heer & Alfred Maussner & Bernd Suessmuth, 2018. "Cyclical Asset Returns in the Consumption and Investment Goods Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 51-70, April.
    8. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Gilberto Tadeu Lima, 2008. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Investment Sectoral Allocation and Human Capital Accumulation in a Model of Export-Led Growth," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807211332520, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    9. Bharat Trehan, 2007. "Changing productivity trends," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue aug31.
    10. Araujo, Ricardo Azevedo & Lima, Gilberto Tadeu, 2011. "Embodied technological change, capital sectoral allocation and export-led growth," MPRA Paper 29810, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Productivity Technological change;

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