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A two-sector approach to modeling U.S. NIPA data

  • Karl Whelan

The one-sector Solow-Ramsey model is the most popular model of long-run economic growth. This paper argues that a two-sector approach, which distinguishes the durable goods sector from the rest of the economy, provides a far better picture of the long-run behavior of the U.S. economy. Real durable goods output has consistently grown faster than the rest of the economy. Because most investment spending is on durable goods, the one-sector model's hypothesis of balanced growth, so that the real aggregates for consumption, investment, output, and the capital stock all grow at the same rate in the long run, is rejected by U.S. data. In addition, to model these aggregates as currently constructed in the U.S. National Accounts, a two-sector approach is required. Implications for empirical macroeconomics are explored.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2001-04.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-04
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  1. Stephen Oliner & Glenn Rudebusch & Daniel Sichel, 1993. "New and old models of business investment: a comparison of forecasting performance," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 141, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  3. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1997. "Measuring the social return to R&D," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. 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).
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  7. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael J. Boskin, 1998. "Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
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  13. Karl Whelan, 2000. "A guide to the use of chain aggregated NIPA data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/253 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1998. "The 'embodiment' controversy: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 217-224, February.
  16. Blanchard, Olivier & Rhee, Changyong & Summers, Lawrence, 1993. "The Stock Market, Profit, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 115-36, February.
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