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The Marginal Product of Capital, Capital Flows and Convergence

  • Sirsha Chatterjee
  • Kanda Naknoi

The neoclassical theory of economic growth suggests that capital inflows raise the speed of convergence because foreign financial capital is transformed into physical capital. We propose a new methodology to quantify the size of capital inflows which are transformed into physical capital. We use the predicted scale to calculate the output gains from capital flows. Our methodology takes into account cross-country differences and fluctuations in the price of investment goods relative to output. The theory predicts that inefficiency in producing investment goods reduces the gains from capital inflows. A sizable fraction of capital inflows is found to be transformed into physical capital in only a few countries. However, the gains are found to be extremely small.

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Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1202.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1202
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Web page: http://www.krannert.purdue.edu/programs/phd
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  1. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2005. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries? An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 11901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pablo A. Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 2004. "Business cycles in emerging economies: the role of interest rates," Staff Report 335, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey, 1997. "Foreign Speculators and Emerging Equity Markets," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 79, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Francesco Caselli, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568, 05.
  5. Henry, Peter B., 2003. "Capital Account Liberalization, The Cost of Capital, and Economic Growth," Research Papers 1778, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  6. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and The Exorbitant Privilege," CEPR Discussion Papers 5220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Alfaro, Laura & Hammel, Eliza, 2007. "Capital flows and capital goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 128-150, May.
  8. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2007. "The stability of large external imbalances: the role of returns differentials," International Finance Discussion Papers 894, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Relative prices and relative prosperity," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  10. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2003. "The Elusive Gains from International Financial Integration," NBER Working Papers 9684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Peter Blair Henry, 2000. "Stock Market Liberalization, Economic Reform, and Emerging Market Equity Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 529-564, 04.
  12. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  13. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
  14. Stefano Athanasoulis & Eric van Wincoop, 1997. "Growth uncertainty and risksharing," Staff Reports 30, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2007. "The Stability of Large External Imbalances: The Role of Returns Differentials," NBER Working Papers 13074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Fischer, S. & Cooper, R.N. & Dornbusch, R. & Garber, P.M. & Massad, C. & Polak, J.J. & Rodrik, D. & Tarapore, S.S., 1998. "Should the IMF Pursue Capital-Account Convertibility?," Princeton Essays in International Economics 207, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  17. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
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