IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_4895.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Substitution Elasticity, Factor Shares, Long-Run Growth, and the Low-Frequency Panel Model

Author

Listed:
  • Robert S. Chirinko
  • Debdulal Mallick

Abstract

The value of the elasticity of substitution between labor and capital (ó) is a "crucial" assumption in understanding the secular decline in the labor share of income and long-run growth. This paper develops and implements a new strategy for estimating this crucial parameter by combining a low-pass filter with panel data to identify the low-frequency/long-run relations appropriate to production function estimation. Using spectral analysis, we assess the extent to which our choices of the critical periodicity and window defining the low-pass filter are successful in emphasizing long-run variation. The empirical results are based on the comprehensive panel industry dataset constructed by Dale Jorgenson and his research associates. Our preferred estimate of ó is 0.40. We document that standard estimation methods, which do not filter-out transitory variation, generate downwardly biased estimates. As high frequency variation is introduced into the model variables, ó declines by 40% to 70% relative to the benchmark value. Despite correcting for this bias, our preferred estimate is substantially below the Cobb-Douglas assumption of ó = 1, and thus implies that the secular decline in the labor share of income cannot be explained by secular increases in the capital/income ratio or secular decreases in the relative price of investment or capital taxation.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert S. Chirinko & Debdulal Mallick, 2014. "The Substitution Elasticity, Factor Shares, Long-Run Growth, and the Low-Frequency Panel Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 4895, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4895
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4895.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. anonymous, 1995. "Does the bouncing ball lead to economic growth?," Regional Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jul, pages 1-2,4-6.
    2. Chirinko, Robert S, 1993. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1875-1911, December.
    3. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    5. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
    6. Robert S. Chirinko, 1992. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: A Critical survey of Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 9213, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    7. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 908-931.
    8. Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700–2010," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1255-1310.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Veronica Guerrieri, 2008. "Capital Deepening and Nonbalanced Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 467-498.
    10. Mallick, Debdulal, 2012. "The role of the elasticity of substitution in economic growth: A cross-country investigation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 682-694.
    11. Christian J. Murray, 2003. "Cyclical Properties of Baxter-King Filtered Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 472-476, May.
    12. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2010. "Identifying the Elasticity of Substitution with Biased Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1330-1357.
    13. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    14. Chirinko, Robert S. & Mallick, Debdulal, 2011. "Cointegration, factor shares, and production function parameters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 205-206, August.
    15. 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.
    16. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    17. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, March.
    18. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Small Sample Bias and Adjustment Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 52-58, February.
    19. Ronald W. Jones & Roy J. Ruffin, 2008. "Trade and Wages: a Deeper Investigation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 234-249, May.
    20. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    21. Levy, Daniel & Dezhbakhsh, Hashem, 2003. "International evidence on output fluctuation and shock persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 1499-1530.
    22. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Smith, William T., 2006. "Equilibrium consumption and precautionary savings in a stochastically growing economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, pages 243-278.
    23. Engle, Robert F & Foley, Duncan K, 1975. "An Asset Price Model of Aggregate Investment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 625-647, October.
    24. James Melvin & Robert Waschik, 2001. "The neoclassical ambiguity in the specific factor model," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 321-337.
    25. 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.
    26. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", pages 125-132.
    27. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Two Illustrations of the Quantity Theory of Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1005-1014, December.
    28. Robert S. Chirinko & Steven M. Fazzari & Andrew P. Meyer, 2011. "A New Approach to Estimating Production Function Parameters: The Elusive Capital--Labor Substitution Elasticity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 587-594, October.
    29. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
    30. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2002. "Intertemporal and intratemporal substitution, and the speed of convergence in the neoclassical growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1765-1785, August.
    31. Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Production functions and distributions of unit factor productivities: Uncovering the link," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 87-90, October.
    32. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549.
    33. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2012. "The Normalized Ces Production Function: Theory And Empirics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 769-799, December.
    34. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
    35. Jakub Growiec, 2008. "A new class of production functions and an argument against purely labor-augmenting technical change," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 483-502.
    36. Eicher, Theo S & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1999. "Non-scale Models of Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 394-415, July.
    37. Yuhn, Ky-hyang, 1991. "Economic Growth, Technical Change Biases, and the Elasticity of Substitution: A Test of the De La Grandville Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 340-346, May.
    38. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2007. "Factor Substitution and Factor-Augmenting Technical Progress in the United States: A Normalized Supply-Side System Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 183-192, February.
    39. Chirinko, Robert S. & Fazzari, Steven M. & Meyer, Andrew P., 2011. "A New Approach to Estimating Production Function Parameters: The Elusive Capital–Labor Substitution Elasticity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(4), pages 587-594.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. George Sorg-Langhans & Clemens Struck & Adnan Velic, 2017. "On the Factor Content of Trade," Trinity Economics Papers tep0817, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2018.
    2. Lawrence Robert Z., 2015. "Recent Declines in Labor's Share in U.S. Income: A Preliminary Neoclassical Account," Working Paper Series rwp15-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Ezra Oberfield & Thomas Sampson, 2017. "Balanced Growth Despite Uzawa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1293-1312.
    4. Markus Brueckner, 2016. "Rent Extraction by Capitalists," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2016-634, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    5. Mallick, Debdulal, 2015. "Elusive Relationship between Business-cycle Volatility and Long-run Growth," MPRA Paper 64502, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Milić Milovanović, 2015. "Thomas Piketty’s Capitalism Revisited," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(5), pages 663-677, December.
    7. Clemens Struck & Adnan Velic, 2017. "To Augment Or Not To Augment? A Conjecture On Asymmetric Technical Change," Trinity Economics Papers tep0117, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2015. "The Rise and Decline of General Laws of Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    9. Obregon, Carlos, 2015. "Piketty is wrong," MPRA Paper 64593, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Robert Z. Lawrence, 2015. "Recent Declines in Labor's Share in US Income: A Preliminary Neoclassical Account," Working Paper Series WP15-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    substitution elasticity; labor income share; long-run growth; low-pass filter; production function parameters;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    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:ces:ceswps:_4895. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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.