A General Index of Technical Change
This paper outlines a procedure for estimating a general index of technical change within the context of a qui te general production technology. Specifically, when panel data are a vailable for firms in an industry, time-specific dummies can be combi ned in a nonlinear estimation procedure to yield a general index of t echnical change that may be both nonneutral and scale augmenting. The general index can serve as the basis for analysis of the determinant s of technical change. Results for a sample of thirty electric utilit ies over the period 1951-78 show that the productivity decline of the 1970s can be attributed primarily to sulphur oxide restrictions and secularly declining capacity utilization due to rapidly increasing pe ak-load demands. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.
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