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Factor shares, the price markup, and the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor

Author

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  • Xavier Raurich
  • Hector Sala
  • Valeri Sorolla

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

In a Walrasian labor market, the labor income share is constant under the assumptions of a Cobb–Douglas production function and perfect competition. Given the observed decline of the labor share in recent decades, this paper relaxes these assumptions, proposes a time-series calculation of the aggregate price mark-up reflecting the degree of imperfect competition in the product market, and provides estimates of the elasticity of substitution under such product market imperfections. We focus on Spain and the US and show that the elasticity of substitution is above one in Spain and below one in the US. We also show that the price markup drives the elasticity of substitution away from one, upwards in Spain, downwards in the US. These results are used to explain the declining path of the labor income share, common to both economies, and their contrasted patterns in terms of capital deepening.
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Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Raurich & Hector Sala & Valeri Sorolla, 2010. "Factor shares, the price markup, and the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor," Working Papers in Economics 250, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2010250
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Poland: heading to middle-income stall?
      by Bruno Duarte in EUnomics on 2018-09-26 21:03:16

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    Cited by:

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    2. Ivan D. Trofimov, 2019. "Stability of Labour Shares: Evidence from OECD Economies," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 17(1), pages 57-89.
    3. Anthony Diercks, 2016. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2016 Meeting Papers 207, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. D., Ivan, 2017. "Stability of the labour shares: evidence from OECD economies," MPRA Paper 79822, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Dario Simon Judzik & Hector Sala Lorda, 2014. "The determinants of capital intensity in Japan and the U.S," Working Papers wpdea1404, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
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    8. Michael Knoblach & Martin Roessler & Patrick Zwerschke, 2020. "The Elasticity of Substitution Between Capital and Labour in the US Economy: A Meta‐Regression Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(1), pages 62-82, February.
    9. Jakub Mućk & Peter McAdam & Jakub Growiec, 2018. "Will The “True” Labor Share Stand Up? An Applied Survey On Labor Share Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 961-984, September.
    10. Francesco Carbonero & Christian Offermanns & Enzo Weber, 2017. "The Trend in Labour Income Share: the Role of Technological Change and Imperfect Labour Markets," Working Papers 173, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    11. Hector Sala & Pedro Trivín, 2018. "The effects of globalization and technology on the elasticity of substitution," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(3), pages 617-647, August.
    12. Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Daniel McMillen, 2014. "New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution of Land for Capital," ERSA conference papers ersa14p108, European Regional Science Association.
    13. Deren Unalmis & Ibrahim Unalmis & Derya Filiz Unsal, 2012. "On Oil Price Shocks: The Role of Storage," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(4), pages 505-532, December.
    14. Osharin Alexander & Verbus Valery, 2015. "Heterogeneous consumers and market structure in a monopolistically competitive setting," EERC Working Paper Series 15/03e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
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    17. Deren Unalmis & Ibrahim Unalmis & Derya Filiz Unsal, 2012. "On the Sources and Consequences of Oil Price Shocks : The Role of Storage," Working Papers 1230, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    18. Knoblach, Michael & Rößler, Martin & Zwerschke, Patrick, 2016. "The Elasticity of Factor Substitution Between Capital and Labor in the U.S. Economy: A Meta-Regression Analysis," CEPIE Working Papers 03/16, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    19. Judzik, Dario & Sala, Hector, 2015. "The determinants of capital intensity in Japan and the US," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 78-98.
    20. Shim Hyein & Chung Chune Young & Ryu Doojin, 2018. "Labor income share and imperfectly competitive product market," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-16, January.
    21. Gonzalez, Ignacio & Trivin, Pedro, 2019. "The Global Rise of Asset Prices and the Decline of the Labor Share," MPRA Paper 94587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Andrea Bassanini & Thomas Manfredi, 2014. "Capital’s grabbing hand? A cross-industry analysis of the decline of the labor share in OECD countries," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 4(1), pages 3-30, June.
    23. Louis de Berquin Eyike Mbongo, 2019. "ICT diffusion and employment in Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(1), pages 521-532.
    24. Anthony M. Diercks, 2015. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, & Optimal Monetary Policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-87, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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