A New Approach to Estimating Production Function Parameters: The Elusive Capital--Labor Substitution Elasticity
Parameters of taste and technology are central to a wide variety of economic models and issues. This article proposes a simple method for estimating production function parameters from panel data, with a particular focus on the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor. Elasticity estimates have varied widely, and a consensus estimate remains elusive. Our estimation strategy exploits long-run variation and thus avoids several pitfalls, including difficult-to-specify dynamics, transitory time-series variation, and positively sloped supply schedules, that can bias the estimated elasticity. Our results are based on an extensive panel comprising 1860 firms. Our approach generates a precisely estimated elasticity of 0.40. Although existing estimates range widely, we document a remarkable convergence of results from two related approaches applied to a common dataset. The method developed here may prove useful in estimating other structural parameters from panel datasets.
Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/UBES20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/UBES20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jnlbes:v:29:y:2011:i:4:p:587-594. 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: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.