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Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation

Author

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  • Berthold Herrendorf

    (Arizona State University)

  • Akos Valentinyi

    (Cardiff Business School)

Abstract

This paper assesses how structural transformation is affected by sectoral differences in labor-augmenting technological progress, capital intensity, and substitutability between capital and labor. We estimate CES production functions for agriculture, manufacturing, and services on postwar US data and compare them with Cobb-Douglas production functions with different and with equal capital shares. We find that sectoral differences in labor-augmenting technological progress are the main force behind the trends in observed sectoral labor and relative prices. As a result, Cobb-Douglas production functions with equal capital shares (which by construction abstract from differences in capital intensity and the elasticity of substitution) capture the main economic forces behind postwar US structural transformation that originate on the technology side.

Suggested Citation

  • Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi, 2013. "Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation," 2013 Meeting Papers 349, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:349
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Berthold Herrendorf & Christopher Herrington & Ákos Valentinyi, 2015. "Sectoral Technology and Structural Transformation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 104-133, October.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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