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In dubio pro CES - Supply estimation with mis-specified technical change

Author

Listed:
  • León-Ledesma, Miguel A.
  • McAdam, Peter
  • Willman, Alpo

Abstract

Capital-labor substitution and total factor productivity (TFP) estimates are essential features of growth and income distribution models. In the context of a Monte Carlo exercise embodying balanced and near balanced growth, we demonstrate that the estimation of the substitution elasticity can be substantially biased if the form of technical progress is misspecified. For some parameter values, when factor shares are relatively constant, there could be an inherent bias towards Cobb-Douglas. The implied estimates of TFP growth also yield substantially different results depending on the specification of technical progress. A Constant Elasticity of Substitution production function is then estimated within a “normalized” system approach for the US economy over 1960:1–2004:4. Results show that the estimated substitution elasticity tends to be significantly lower using a factor augmenting specification (well below one). We are able to reject Hicks-, Harrod- and Solow-neutral specifications in favor of general factor augmentation with a non-negligible capital-augmenting component. Finally, we draw some important lessons for production and supply-side estimation. JEL Classification: C15, C32, E23, O33, O51

Suggested Citation

  • León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2010. "In dubio pro CES - Supply estimation with mis-specified technical change," Working Paper Series 1175, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101175
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2003. "The Case of the Missing Productivity Growth: Or, Does Information Technology Explain why Productivity Accelerated in the US but not the UK?," NBER Working Papers 10010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rankin Neil & Burger Rulof & Kreuser Friedrich, 2015. "The elasticity of substitution and labour-displacing technical change in post-apartheid South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 101, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo & León-Ledesma, Miguel A., 2011. "Aggregation, the skill premium, and the two-level production function," Working Paper Series 1400, European Central Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Cristiano Cantore & Paul Levine & Giovanni Melina, 2014. "A Fiscal Stimulus and Jobless Recovery," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(3), pages 669-701, July.
    5. Matteo F. Ghilardi & Raffaele Rossi, 2014. "Aggregate Stability and Balanced‐Budget Rules," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(8), pages 1787-1809, December.
    6. PETER McADAM & ALPO WILLMAN, 2013. "Technology, Utilization, and Inflation: What Drives the New Keynesian Phillips Curve?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(8), pages 1547-1579, December.
    7. Di Pace, Federico & Villa, Stefania, 2016. "Factor complementarity and labour market dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 70-112.
    8. Alpo Willman & Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam, 2012. "Explaining the Skill Premium: Technical Change or Capita-Skill Complements?," EcoMod2012 4356, EcoMod.
    9. Song, Malin & Wang, Shuhong, 2016. "Can employment structure promote environment-biased technical progress?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 285-292.
    10. Jakub Growiec, 2012. "The World Technology Frontier: What Can We Learn from the US States?-super-," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(6), pages 777-807, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Balanced Growth; Constant Elasticity of Substitution; Factor Income share; Factor-Augmenting Technical Change; Technical Progress Neutrality;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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