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The elasticity of substitution as an engine of growth

This paper characterizes the elasticity of factor substitution in one-sector convex growth models with a general production function. It shows that an elasticity of substitution that is asymptotically greater than one is a sufficient (but not a necessary) condition for the existence of a lower bound on the marginal product of capital, which in turn can lead to unbounded endogenous growth. Hence, an elasticity of substitution that becomes eventually greater than one can counteract the role of diminishing returns to capital. This renders factor substitution a powerful engine of growth.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Macedonia in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2007_03.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision: Dec 2007
Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2007_03
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.uom.gr/index.php?tmima=3

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  1. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E., 1997. "The sources of growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 75-114, January.
  2. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  3. Klump, Rainer & Preissler, Harald, 2000. " CES Production Functions and Economic Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 41-56, March.
  4. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E., 1992. "Finite lifetimes and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 171-197, December.
  5. Boldrin, Michele, 1992. "Dynamic externalities, multiple equilibria, and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 198-218, December.
  6. Duffy, John & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2000. " A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation of the Aggregate Production Function Specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 87-120, March.
  7. Olivier de La Grandville & Rainer Klump, 2000. "Economic Growth and the Elasticity of Substitution: Two Theorems and Some Suggestions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 282-291, March.
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