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

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1240
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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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