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That Elusive Elasticity: A Long-Panel Approach to Estimating the Capital-Labor Substitution Elasticity

Author

Listed:
  • Robert S. Chirinko
  • Steven M. Fazzari
  • Andrew P. Meyer

Abstract

The elasticity of substitution between capital and labor features prominently in several areas of economic research. However, a consensus estimate remains elusive. We develop an estimation strategy that filters panel data in an original way and avoids several pitfalls - difficult-to-specify dynamics, transitory time-series variation, and positively sloped supply schedules - inherent in investment equations that can bias the estimated elasticity. Results are based on an extensive panel containing 1,860 manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms. Our model generates a precisely estimated elasticity of approximately 0.40. The method developed here may prove useful in estimating other structural parameters from panel datasets.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert S. Chirinko & Steven M. Fazzari & Andrew P. Meyer, 2004. "That Elusive Elasticity: A Long-Panel Approach to Estimating the Capital-Labor Substitution Elasticity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1240, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1240
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tuomas A. Peltonen & Ricardo M. Sousa & Isabel S. Vansteenkiste, 2011. "Fundamentals, Financial Factors, and the Dynamics of Investment in Emerging Markets," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(0), pages 88-105, May.
    2. Lu, J. & Teulings, C., 2016. "Falling Real Interest Rates, House Prices, and the Introduction of the Pill," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1662, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin J. Lansing, 2008. "Capital-Labor Substitution, Equilibrium Indeterminacy, and the Cyclical Behavior of Labor Income," Working Papers 200804, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2008.
    4. Peichl, Andreas & Fuest, Clemens & Schaefer, Thilo, 2005. "Dokumentation FiFoSiM: Integriertes Steuer-Transfer-Mikrosimulations- und CGE-Modell," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 05-3, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
    5. Colin Ellis, 2006. "Elasticities, markups and technical progress: evidence from a state-space approach," Bank of England working papers 300, Bank of England.
    6. Christopher Tsoukis & Frederic Tournemaine, 2011. "Social Conflict, Growth And Factor Shares," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 283-304, May.
    7. Tuomas A. Peltonen & Ricardo M. Sousa & Isabel S. Vansteenkiste, 2009. "Asset prices, Credit and Investment in Emerging Markets," NIPE Working Papers 18/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    8. Alejandro Cuñat & Marco Maffezzoli, 2007. "Can Comparative Advantage Explain the Growth of us Trade?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 583-602, April.
    9. Luciano BOGGIO & Vincenzo DALL’AGLIO & Marco MAGNANI, 2010. "On Labour Shares in Recent Decades: A Survey," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 118(3), pages 283-333.
    10. Robert S. Chirinko, 2008. "ó: The Long And Short Of It," CESifo Working Paper Series 2234, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Andreas Peichl, 2009. "The benefits and problems of linking micro and macromodels - Evidence from a flat tax analysis," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 12, pages 301-329, November.
    12. Iain Fraser & Robert Waschik, 2010. "The Double Dividend Hypothesis in a CGE Model: Specific Factors and Variable Labour Supply," Working Papers 2010.02, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    13. Smith, James, 2008. "That elusive elasticity and the ubiquitous bias: Is panel data a panacea?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 760-779, June.
    14. Coulibaly Brahima & Millar Jonathan N., 2011. "The "Elusive" Capital-User Cost Elasticity Revisited," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-41, September.
    15. Heikki Kauppi & Erkki Koskela & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Equilibrium Unemployment and Capital Intensity Under Product and Labor Market Imperfections," CESifo Working Paper Series 1343, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Peichl, Andreas, 2009. "Benefits and problems of linking micro and macro models - evidence from a flat tax analysis," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    17. Pi, Jiancai & Zhou, Yu, 2012. "Public infrastructure provision and skilled–unskilled wage inequality in developing countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 881-887.
    18. Schaefer, Thilo & Peichl, Andreas, 2006. "Documentation FiFoSiM: integrated tax benefit microsimulation and CGE model," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 06-10, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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