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Transition dynamics in vintage capital models: explaining the postwar catch-up of Germany and Japan

  • Simon Gilchrist
  • John C. Williams

We consider a neoclassical interpretation of Germany and Japan’s rapid postwar growth that relies on a catch-up mechanism through capital accumulation where technology is embodied in new capital goods. Using a putty-clay model of production and investment, we are able to capture many of the key empirical properties of Germany and Japan’s postwar transitions, including persistently high but declining rates of labor and total-factor productivity growth, a U-shaped response of the capital-output ratio, rising rates of investment and employment, and moderate rates of return to capital.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004-14.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2004-14
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  1. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1997. "Engines of growth: Domestic and foreign sources of innovation," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 235-259, May.
  2. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2000. "Accounting for Growth," RCER Working Papers 475, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    • Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2001. "Accounting for Growth," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 179-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 1998. "Putty-clay and investment: a business cycle analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  5. Ray C. Fair & John B. Taylor, 1980. "Solution and Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Nonlinear RationalExpectations Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-31, September.
  7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1991. "Hours and Employment Variation in Business Cycle Theory," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 63-81, January.
  8. Wolff, Edward N, 1996. "The Productivity Slowdown: The Culprit at Last? Follow-Up on Hulten and Wolff," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1239-52, December.
  9. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  10. Charles R. Hulten, 1991. "Introduction to "Productivity Growth in Japan and the United States"," NBER Chapters, in: Productivity Growth in Japan and the United States, pages 1-27 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano, 1989. "Understanding Japan's saving rate: the reconstruction hypothesis," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 10-25.
  13. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, 2006. "Growth Outside The Stable Path: Lessons From The European Reconstruction," Departmental Working Papers 2006-02, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  14. Charles R. Hulten, 1991. "Productivity Growth in Japan and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hult91-1, October.
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