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The role of capital service-life in a model with heterogenous labor and vintage capital

  • Milton H. Marquis
  • Wuttipan Tantivong
  • Bharat Trehan

We examine how the economy responds to both disembodied and embodied technology shocks in a model with vintage capital. We focus on what happens when there is a change in the number of vintages of capital that are in use at any one time and on what happens when there is a change in the persistence of the shocks hitting the economy. The data suggest that these kinds of changes took place in the U.S. economy in the 1990s, when the pace of embodied technical progress appears to have accelerated. We find that embodied technology shocks lead to greater variability (of output, investment and labor allocations) than disembodied shocks of the same size. On the other hand, a decrease in the number of vintages in use at any time (such as is likely to occur when the pace of technical progress accelerates) tends to reduce the volatility of output and also to differentiate the initial response of the economy to the two shocks.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2009-24.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2009-24
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  1. repec:fth:starer:98-16 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 1998. "Putty-Clay and Investment: A Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1998. "The Role of Investment-Specific Technological Change in the Business Cycle," RCER Working Papers 449, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Cummins, Jason G & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. "Investment-Specific Technical Change in the US (1947-2000): Measurement and Macroeconomic Consequences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. repec:fth:starer:9816 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1996. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," RCER Working Papers 420, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Boyan Jovanovic, 1998. "Vintage Capital and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 6416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marquis, Milton H. & Trehan, Bharat, 2008. "On using relative prices to measure capital-specific technological progress," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1390-1406, December.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
  11. Milton H. Marquis & Bharat Trehan, 2007. "Productivity shocks in a model with vintage capital and heterogeneous labor," Working Paper Series 2007-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Kevin L. McKinney, 2002. "The Measurement of Human Capital in the U.S. Economy," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.
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