The elasticity of derived demand, factor substitution, and product demand: Corrections to Hicks' formula and Marshall's Four Rules
The concept of the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor, introduced by John Hicks and Joan Robinson over 75Â years ago, has had important implications in labor economics and several areas of economic inquiry. In his The Theory of Wages (1932/1963), Hicks developed a formula that has proven very useful in relating the substitution elasticity to the derived demand for productive factors, the distribution of factor incomes, and Marshall's Four Rules. This short paper shows that the original and subsequent derivations of Hicks' celebrated formula contained a slip (that factor shares are independent of the substitution elasticity and therefore constant), presents a new derivation and a corrected formula, and demonstrates that, with the corrected formula, Marshall's First Rule based on the substitution elasticity is no longer generally valid.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mario García Molina, 2005. "Capital theory and the origins of the elasticity of substitution (1932--35)," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 423-437, May.
- Pierre Cahuc & AndrÃ© Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, August.
- Daron Acemoglu, 2003.
"Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, 03.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:5:p:708-711. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.