IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Cross-country Variation in Factor Shares and its Implications for Development Accounting

  • Brad Sturgill

    (North Carolina State University)

The stability of factor shares has long been considered one of the “stylized facts” of macroeconomics. However, the relationship between cross-country factor shares and economic development is dependent on how factor shares are measured. Most factor share studies acknowledge only two factors of production: total capital and total labor. The failure to acknowledge more than two factors yields misleading results. In the first part of the paper, I distinguish between reproducible and non-reproducible factors of production. I disentangle physical capital’s share from natural capital’s share and human capital’s share from unskilled labor’s share. Results reveal that non-reproducible factor shares decrease with the stage of economic development, and reproducible factor shares increase with the stage of economic development. This suggests that studies relying on the macroeconomic paradigm of constant factor shares should be revisited. Development accounting nearly always assumes the constancy of factor shares. In the second part of the paper, I perform the development accounting exercise but allow factor shares to vary and distinguish between reproducible and non-reproducible factors. My approach yields results that stand in stark contrast to those previously attained. The general consensus is that at least half of the cross-country variation in output per worker accrues to the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) residual. With my approach, the majority of variation in output per worker accrues to factor shares, specifically physical capital’s share and natural capital’s share. The explanatory power of the TFP residual decreases by more than 30 percentage points. This evidence does not, however, diminish the role of technical change. Rather, the evidence indicates the importance of acknowledging a new type of technical change, one that impacts factor shares.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2010/paper_152.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 152.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:152
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Francesco Caselli, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568, 05.
  2. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9428 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. JOhn Seater & Pietro Peretto, 2010. "Factor-Eliminating Technical Change," Working Papers 10-67, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. David Weil, 2006. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_031, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  6. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2001. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer and Weil Seriously," NBER Working Papers 8365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hernando Zuleta, 2007. "Why labor income shares seem to be constant?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 551-557.
  9. Hernando Zuleta, 2007. "An empirical note on factor shares," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 004363, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  10. Michael J. Boskin & Lawrence J. Lau, 2000. "Generalized Solow-Neutral Technical Progress and Postwar Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 8023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-1, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
  12. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  13. Hernando Zuleta, 2008. "Factor Saving Innovations and Factor Income Shares," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 836-851, October.
  14. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741 Elsevier.
  15. Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "How Important are Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Economic Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, January.
  16. Joseph Zeira, 2006. "Machines as Engines of Growth," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_059, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  17. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1994. "The Sources of Growth," GE, Growth, Math methods 9410002, EconWPA, revised 05 Mar 1999.
  18. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  19. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2009. "How important are dual economy effects for aggregate productivity?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 325-334, March.
  20. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  21. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed010:152. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.