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Technological progress, obsolescence, and depreciation

  • Raouf Boucekkine
  • Fernando del Río
  • Blanca Martínez

We construct a two-sector vintage capital model with neutral and investment-specific technical progress and variable utilization of each vintage. The lifetime of capital goods is endogenous and it relies on the associated maintenance costs. First, we show that the lifetime of capital is an increasing (resp. decreasing) function of the rate of neutral (resp. investment-specific) technical progress. Second, we show that both the use-related depreciation rate and the scrapping rate increase when investment-specific technical progress accelerates. However, the latter drops when neutral technical progress accelerates, while the former remains unaffected. It is also shown that (i) the economic depreciation rate depends on the decline rate of the quality-unadjusted relative price of investment and (ii) the age-related depreciation rate depends on the obsolescence rate. Copyright 2009 , Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 61 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 440-466

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:61:y:2009:i:3:p:440-466
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  1. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  2. Boucekkine, Raouf, et al, 1998. " Creative Destruction, Investment Volatility, and the Average Age of Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 361-84, December.
  3. Epstein, L. & Denny, M., 1980. "Endogenous capital utilization in a short-run production model : Theory and an empiral application," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 189-207, February.
  4. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & RUIZ-TAMARIT Ramon, 2001. "Capital Maintenance and Investment : Complements or Substitutes ?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  5. Michael J. Geske & Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2004. "Why Do Computers Depreciate?," NBER Working Papers 10831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Patrick Musso, 2004. "Productivity Slowdown and Resurgence. The Role of Capital Obsolescence," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(6), pages 1215-1239.
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  9. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  10. Ellen R. McGrattan & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1999. "Maintenance and repair: too big to ignore," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-13.
  11. Nickell, Stephen, 1975. "A closer look at replacement investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-88, February.
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  14. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Zoega, Gylfi, 2001. "Obsolescence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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