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Openness To Trade as a Determinant of the Elasticity of Substitution between Capital and Labor

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  • Marianne Saam

Abstract

Some recent work on economic growth considers the aggregate elasticity of substitution between capital and labor as a measure of economic flexibility. It is thought to depend on technological and institutional determinants. I study how a openness to trade affects the aggregate elasticity of substitution of a large country in a Heckscher-Ohlin model with trade in intermediates and equalization of factor prices. With constant capital stocks, trade enlarges the set of available intermediates in the same way as a rise in the elasticity of substitution in their production would. An optimal tariff corresponds to an additional rise in the elasticity of substitution. In two growing economies, trade only rises the elasticity of substitution of the GDP function of the faster growing country.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Saam, 2005. "Openness To Trade as a Determinant of the Elasticity of Substitution between Capital and Labor," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_013, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c010_013
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    File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_10/C010_013.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    2. Benabou, Roland, 2005. "Inequality, Technology and the Social Contract," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1595-1638 Elsevier.
    3. Antràs Pol, 2004. "Is the U.S. Aggregate Production Function Cobb-Douglas? New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, April.
    4. Klump, Rainer & Preissler, Harald, 2000. " CES Production Functions and Economic Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 41-56, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "International trade and labor-demand elasticities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 27-56, June.
    7. Marianne Saam, 2004. "Distributional Effects of Growth and the Elasticity of Substitution," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_031, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    8. 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 367, European Central Bank.
    9. Jaume Ventura, 1997. "Growth and Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 57-84.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juha Kilponen & Matti Viren, 2010. "Why do growth rates differ? Evidence from cross-country data on private sector production," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 311-328, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aggregate elasticity of substitution; normalization; Heckscher-Ohlin model; capital accumulation;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production

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