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The production-side approach to estimating embodied technological change

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  • Plutarchos Sakellaris
  • Daniel J. Wilson

Abstract

We estimate the rate of embodied technological change directly from plant-level manufacturing data on current output and input choices along with histories on their vintages of equipment investment. Our estimates range between 8 and 17 percent for the typical U.S. manufacturing plant during the years 1972-1996. Any number in this range is substantially larger than is conventionally accepted with some important implications. First, the role of investment-specific technological change as an engine of growth is even larger than previously estimated. Second, existing producer durable price indices do not adequately account for quality change. As a result, measured capital stock growth is biased. Third, if accurate, the Hulten and Wykoff (1981) economic depreciation rates may primarily reflect obsolescence.

Suggested Citation

  • Plutarchos Sakellaris & Daniel J. Wilson, 2001. "The production-side approach to estimating embodied technological change," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Gautier Duflos, 2008. "Pharmaceutical innovation and the longevity of Australians: a first look," NBER Working Papers 14009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Suchin Virabhak, 2007. "Pharmaceutical-embodied technical progress, longevity, and quality of life: drugs as 'Equipment for Your Health'," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4-5), pages 371-392.
    3. Frank Lichtenberg, 2011. "The quality of medical care, behavioral risk factors, and longevity growth," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-34, March.
    4. John Laitner & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2003. "Technological Change and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1240-1267, September.
    5. Daniel Wilson, 2003. "Embodying Embodiment in a Structural, Macroeconomic Input-Output Model," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 371-398.
    6. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2005. "Pharmaceutical Knowledge-Capital Accumulation and Longevity," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 237-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "Moore's Law and Learning-By-Doing," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(2), pages 346-375, April.
    8. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2002. "The Effect of Changes in Drug Utilization on Labor Supply and Per Capita Output," NBER Working Papers 9139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technology ; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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