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How substitutable are fixed factors in production? evidence from pre-industrial England

  • Wilde, Joshua

Whether fixed factors such as land constrain per-capita income growth depends crucially on two variables: the substitutability of fixed factors in production, and the extent to which innovation is biased towards land-saving technologies. This paper attempts to quantify both. Using the timing of plague epidemics as an instrument for labor supply, I estimate the elasticity of substitution between fixed and non-fixed factors in pre-industrial England to be significantly less than one. In addition, I find evidence that denser populations – and hence higher land scarcity – induced innovation towards land-saving technologies.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/39278/2/MPRA_paper_39278.pdf
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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/39844/1/MPRA_paper_39844.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 39278.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39278
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