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Biased Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function

  • Thomas Michl
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    This paper offers a classical model of biased technical change in the MarxRicardo tradition as a framework for theoretical and applied studies of growth. The observable data it generates would appear to an unsuspecting economist to be well-described by a neoclassical model with a static Cobb-Douglas production function, when in fact this production function describes only the technological history of the economy. The CobbDouglas form results from the capital-using, labour-saving bias of technical change. The model's trajectory in wage-profit space will lie along the displaced image of the neoclassical factor price frontier, in contradiction to marginal productivity theory. The Solow residual can be reinterpreted by the classical theory as a measure of the size of this displacement.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/026921799101652
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 193-206

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:13:y:1999:i:2:p:193-206
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    1. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
    2. Michl, Thomas R, 1991. "Wage-Profit Curves in U.S. Manufacturing," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 271-86, September.
    3. Paul M. Romer, 1987. "Crazy Explanations for the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 163-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
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