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Capital goods, measured TFP and growth: The case of Spain

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  • Antonia Diaz
  • Luis Franjo

    (Chair of International Finance, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland)

Abstract

This paper reconciles two, apparently, contradictory facts about the Spanish economy: real GDP per working age person has grown at 2.4 percent during the period 1996-2007, on average, whereas Total Factor Productivity has been stagnant during that period. Here we argue that the Spanish economy has grown, in spite of stagnant TFP, because investment in structures has been heavily subsidized. This inefficiently high rate of investment in structures is the main reason for the increase in hours worked observed during that period. We use a three sector model economy where we distinguish between equipment and structures to quantify the sources of changes in measured TFP in Spain. We find that measured TFP is low because Investment-Specific Technical Change in Spain is very low. A calibrated version of this model is able to reproduce very well the growth experience of Spain for the period 1970-2007. We use the model economy to quantify the cost of direct and indirect subsidies to structures and the gains of eliminating them in terms of TFP and income growth. Our three sector model economy also allows us to quantify the cost in measured TFP of the housing price boom experienced during the 2000s.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonia Diaz & Luis Franjo, 2014. "Capital goods, measured TFP and growth: The case of Spain," Working Papers 201401, Center for Fiscal Policy, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, revised Oct 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:cif:wpaper:201401
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan C. Conesa & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2017. "Productivity, taxes, and hours worked in Spain: 1970–2015," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 201-223, August.
    2. Manuel García-Santana & Enrique Moral-Benito & Josep Pijoan-Mas & Roberto Ramos, 2016. "Growing like Spain: 1995-2007," Economics Working Papers 1517, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. repec:spr:series:v:8:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s13209-017-0169-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:moneco:v:88:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Juan Carlos Conesa & Pau S. Pujolas, 2017. "The Canadian Productivity Stagnation, 2002-2014," Department of Economics Working Papers 2017-04, McMaster University, revised Sep 2017.
    6. Andrés, Javier & Arce, Óscar & Thomas, Carlos, 2017. "Structural reforms in a debt overhang," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 15-34.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Home Market Effect; Terms of Trade; Tariffs and Subsidies;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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