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Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation

Author

Listed:
  • Berthold Herrendorf

    (Department of Economics, W.P. Carey School of Business Arizona State University)

  • Christopher Herrington

    (Department of Economics, W.P. Carey School of Business Arizona State University)

  • Akos Valentinyi

    (Institute of Economics Research Centre for Economic and Regional Studies Hungarian Academy of Sciences Cardiff Business School)

Abstract

This paper assesses the importance for structural transformation of three features of sectoral technology: labor-augmenting technological progress, capital intensity, and substitutability between capital and labor. We estimate CES production functions for agriculture, manufacturing, and services on postwar US data and compare them with Cobb-Douglas production functions with different and with equal capital shares. We find that sectoral differences in labor-augmenting technological progress are the main force behind the trends in observed relative prices and sectoral labor. As a result, sectoral Cobb-Douglas production functions with equal capital shares (which by construction abstract from differences in the elasticity of substitution and in capital shares) do a good job of capturing the postwar US structural transformation.

Suggested Citation

  • Berthold Herrendorf & Christopher Herrington & Akos Valentinyi, 2012. "Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1232, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1232
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Berthold Herrendorf & Christopher Herrington & Ákos Valentinyi, 2015. "Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 104-133, October.
    2. Berthold Herrendorf & Ákos Valentinyi, 2012. "Which Sectors Make Poor Countries So Unproductive?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 323-341, April.
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    5. Berthold Herrendorf & Todd Schoellman, 2015. "Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 1003-1022, October.
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    15. Akos Valentinyi & Berthold Herrendorf, 2008. "Measuring Factor Income Shares at the Sectoral Level," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 0803, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    16. Berthold Herrendorf & Todd Schoellman, 2017. "Wages, Human Capital, and Structural Transformation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6426, CESifo.
    17. Berthold Herrendorf & Christopher Herrington & Ákos Valentinyi, 2015. "Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 104-133, October.
    18. Akos Valentinyi & Berthold Herrendorf, 2008. "Measuring Factor Income Shares at the Sector Level," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 820-835, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CES production function; Cobb-Douglas production function; structural transformation; elasticity of substitution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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