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Capital misallocation and aggregate factor productivity

  • Azariadis, Costas
  • Kaas, Leo

We propose a sectoral-shift theory of aggregate factor productivity for a class of economies with AK technologies, limited loan enforcement, a constant production possibilities frontier, and finitely many sectors producing the same good. Both the growth rate and total factor productivity in these economies respond to random and persistent endogenous fluctuations in the sectoral distribution of physical capital which, in turn, responds to persistent and reversible exogenous shifts in relative sector productivities. Surplus capital from less productive sectors is lent to more productive ones in the form of secured collateral loans, as in Kiyotaki-Moore (1997), and also as unsecured reputational loans suggested in Bulow-Rogoff (1989). Endogenous debt limits slow down capital reallocation, preventing the equalization of risk-adjusted equity yields across sectors. Economy-wide factor productivity and the aggregate growth rate are both negatively correlated with the dispersion of sectoral rates of return, sectoral TFP and sectoral growth rates. If sector productivities follow a symmetric two-state Markov process, many of our economies converge to a limit cycle alternating between mild expansions and abrupt contractions. We also find highly periodic and volatile limit cycles in economies with small amounts of collateral.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15742.

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Date of creation: 15 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15742
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  1. Costas Azariadis & Leo Kaas, 2012. "Capital misallocation and aggregate factor productivity," Working Papers 2012-046, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Yongseok Shin & Joe Kaboski & Francisco J. Buera, 2008. "Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors," 2008 Meeting Papers 955, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  19. Brainard, S Lael & Cutler, David M, 1993. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 219-43, February.
  20. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
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