IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp0735.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Marginal Product of Capital

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Caselli
  • James Feyrer

Abstract

Whether or not the marginal product of capital (MPK) differs across countries is a question that keeps coming up in discussions of comparative economic development and patterns of capital flows. We use easily accessible macroeconomic data to shed light on this issue, and find that MPKs are remarkably similar across countries. Hence, there is no prima facie support for the view that international credit frictions play a major role in preventing capital flows from rich to poor countries. Lower capital ratios in these countries are instead attributable to lower endowments of complementary factors and lower efficiency, as well as to lower prices of output goods relative to capital. We also show that properly accounting for the share of income accruing to reproducible capital is critical to reach these conclusions. One implication of our findings is that increased aid flows to developing countries will not significantly increase these countries' incomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2006. "The Marginal Product of Capital," CEP Discussion Papers dp0735, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0735
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0735.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daniel Cohen; Marcelo Soto, 2004. "Why are poor countries poor?," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 75, Econometric Society.
    2. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    3. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 2001. "Trade in capital goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1195-1235.
    4. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
    5. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "The Poverty of Nations: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 5414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
    8. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Elusive Gains from International Financial Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 715-741.
    9. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Capital, Interest, and Aggregate Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 9373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2008. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries? An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 347-368, May.
    11. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "The Growth of Nations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 275-326.
    12. René M. Stulz, 2007. "The Limits of Financial Globalization," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 19(1), pages 8-15, January.
    13. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 562-585, June.
    15. Gustavo Ventura & Paul Klein, 2004. "Do Migration Restrictions Matter?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 506, Econometric Society.
    16. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    17. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2001. "The U.S. Structural Transformation and Regional Convergence: A Reinterpretation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 584-616, June.
    19. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich-to-Poor Capital Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 53-58, May.
    20. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226301532 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Cohen, Daniel & Soto, Marcelo, 2002. "Why are Poor Countries Poor? A Message of Hope which Involves the Resolution of a Becker/Lucas Paradox," CEPR Discussion Papers 3528, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Lane Philip R., 2004. "Empirical Perspectives on Long-Term External Debt," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, January.
    23. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Banerjee, Abhijit V. & Duflo, Esther, 2005. "Growth Theory through the Lens of Development Economics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 473-552, Elsevier.
    25. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5266, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    26. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern01-1, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chen, Chaoran, 2020. "Technology adoption, capital deepening, and international productivity differences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    2. Peter Blair Henry, 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(4), pages 887-935, December.
    3. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2013. "Capital Flows to Developing Countries: The Allocation Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1484-1515.
    4. García-Belenguer, Fernando & Santos, Manuel S., 2013. "Investment rates and the aggregate production function," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 150-169.
    5. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    6. Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2006. "Patterns of international capital flows and their implications for economic development," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 119-158.
    7. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    8. Tamura, Robert & Dwyer, Jerry & Devereux, John & Baier, Scott, 2019. "Economic growth in the long run," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-35.
    9. Guven, Cahit, 2016. "Financial integration: The role of tradable and non-tradable goods," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 345-353.
    10. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 562-585, June.
    11. Rui Castro, 2005. "Economic Development and Growth in the World Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 195-230, January.
    12. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2009. "How important are dual economy effects for aggregate productivity?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 325-334, March.
    13. Herrendorf, Berthold & Teixeira, Arilton, 2003. "Monopoly Rights can Reduce Income Big Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 3854, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Jerzmanowski, Michal & Tamura, Robert, 2019. "Directed technological change & cross-country income differences: A quantitative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    15. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    16. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2009. "Human Capital, the Structure of Production, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 66-82, February.
    17. Genevieve Verdier, 2005. "The (Much Understated) Quantitative Role of Capital Accumulation and Saving," Macroeconomics 0507015, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Peter Henry, 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Discussion Papers 07-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    19. Sturgill, Brad, 2014. "Back to the basics: Revisiting the development accounting methodology," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 52-68.
    20. Levchenko, Andrei A. & Zhang, Jing, 2016. "The evolution of comparative advantage: Measurement and welfare implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 96-111.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    investment; capital flows;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0735. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.