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Factor Shares, the Price Markup, and the Elasticity of Substitution between Capital and Labor

Author

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  • Raurich, Xavier

    () (CREB, Barcelona)

  • Sala, Hector

    () (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Sorolla, Valeri

    () (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

In a Walrasian labor market, the labor income share is constant under the assumptions of a Cobb-Douglas production function and perfect competition. Given the observed decline of the labor share in recent decades, this paper relaxes these assumptions, proposes a time-series calculation of the aggregate price mark-up reflecting the degree of imperfect competition in the product market, and provides estimates of the elasticity of substitution under such product market imperfections. We focus on Spain and the U.S. and show that the elasticity of substitution is above one in Spain and below one in the U.S. We also show that the price markup drives the elasticity of substitution away from one, upwards in Spain, downwards in the U.S. These results are used to explain the declining path of the labor income share, common to both economies, and their contrasted patterns in terms of capital deepening.

Suggested Citation

  • Raurich, Xavier & Sala, Hector & Sorolla, Valeri, 2011. "Factor Shares, the Price Markup, and the Elasticity of Substitution between Capital and Labor," IZA Discussion Papers 5992, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5992
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    1. Poland: heading to middle-income stall?
      by Bruno Duarte in EUnomics on 2018-09-26 21:03:16

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    10. Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Daniel McMillen, 2014. "New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution of Land for Capital," ERSA conference papers ersa14p108, European Regional Science Association.
    11. Osharin Alexander & Verbus Valery, 2015. "Heterogeneous consumers and market structure in a monopolistically competitive setting," EERC Working Paper Series 15/03e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
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    16. D., Ivan, 2017. "Stability of the labour shares: evidence from OECD economies," MPRA Paper 79822, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    18. Anthony M. Diercks, 2015. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, & Optimal Monetary Policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-87, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Dario Simon Judzik & Hector Sala Lorda, 2014. "The determinants of capital intensity in Japan and the U.S," Working Papers wpdea1404, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    elasticity of substitution; price markup; factor shares; capital deepening;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution

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