Elasticity of Substitution between Capital and Labor and its applications to growth and development
This paper estimates the elasticity of substitution of an aggregate production function. The estimating equation is derived from the steady state of a neoclassical growth model. The data comes from the PWT in which different countries face different relative prices of the investment good and exhibit different investment-output ratios. Then, taking advantage of this variation we estimate the long-run elasticity of substitution. Using various estimation techniques, we find that the elasticity of substitution is 0.7, which is lower than the elasticity, 1, that is traditionally used in macro-development exercises. We show that this lower elasticity reinforces the power of the neoclassical model to explain income differences across countries as coming from differential distortions.
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