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Factor Substitution, Income Distribution, and Growth in a Generalized Neoclassical Model

  • Andreas Irmen
  • Rainer Klump

We analyze a generalized neoclassical growth model that combines a normalized CES production function and possible asymmetries of savings out of factor incomes. This generalized model helps to shed new light on a recent debate concerning the impact of factor substitution and income distribution on economic growth. We can show that this impact relies on both an efficiency and an acceleration effect, where the latter is caused by the distributional consequences of an increase in the elasticity of substitution. While the efficiency effect is always positive, the direction of the acceleration effect depends on the particular savings hypothesis. However, if savings out of capital income are substantial so that a certain threshold value is surpassed we find that the efficiency effect dominates and higher factor substitution can work as a major engine of growth.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2148.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2148
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  1. Kaz Miyagiwa & Chris Papageorgiou, 2003. "Elasticity of substitution and growth: normalized CES in the Diamond model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 155-165, 01.
  2. 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.
  3. Klump, Rainer & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2004. "Factor substitution and factor augmenting technical progress in the US: a normalized supply-side system approach," Working Paper Series 0367, European Central Bank.
  4. Olivier de La Grandville & Rainer Klump, 2000. "Economic Growth and the Elasticity of Substitution: Two Theorems and Some Suggestions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 282-291, March.
  5. Klump, Rainer & Saam, Marianne, 2008. "Calibration of normalised CES production functions in dynamic models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 256-259, May.
  6. de La Grandville, Olivier, 1989. "In Quest of the Slutsky Diamond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 468-81, June.
  7. Klump, Rainer & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2008. "Unwrapping some euro area growth puzzles: Factor substitution, productivity and unemployment," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 645-666, June.
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