IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucn/wpaper/201912.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Automation, New Technology and Non-Homothetic Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Clemens C. Struck
  • Adnan Velic

Abstract

To rationalize a substantial income share of labor despite progressive task automation over the centuries, we present a simple model in which demand moves along a vertically differentiated production structure toward goods of increasing sophistication. Automation of more sophisticated goods requires capital of increasing quality. Quality capital remains scarce along the growth path. This is why labor keeps up a substantial fraction of income. Real capital, however, that is capital measured in units of the quality of some base year, becomes abundant relative to labor. While our model features an entirely different mechanism, we show that its aggregate representation is the one of a neoclassical growth model with labor-augmenting technical change.

Suggested Citation

  • Clemens C. Struck & Adnan Velic, 2019. "Automation, New Technology and Non-Homothetic Preferences," Working Papers 201912, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201912
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10494
    File Function: First version, 2019
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1035-1070, October.
    2. David Autor & David Dorn & Lawrence F. Katz & Christina Patterson & John Van Reenen, 2017. "Concentrating on the Fall of the Labor Share," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 180-185, May.
    3. Justin Caron & Thibault Fally & James R. Markusen, 2021. "International Trade Puzzles: A Solution Linking Production And Preferences," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 11, pages 199-250, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2001. "Quantifying Quality Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1006-1030, September.
    5. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721-765.
    6. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    7. Robert Z. Lawrence, 2015. "Recent Declines in Labor's Share in US Income: A Preliminary Neoclassical Account," NBER Working Papers 21296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700–2010," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1255-1310.
    9. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2009. "Can Traditional Theories of Structural Change Fit The Data?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 469-477, 04-05.
    10. Timo Boppart, 2014. "Structural Change and the Kaldor Facts in a Growth Model With Relative Price Effects and Non‐Gorman Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2167-2196, November.
    11. Ezra Oberfield & Devesh Raval, 2021. "Micro Data and Macro Technology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(2), pages 703-732, March.
    12. Diamond, Peter & McFadden, Daniel & Rodriguez, Miguel, 1978. "Measurement of the Elasticity of Factor Substitution and Bias of Technical Change," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.),Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 5, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
    13. Diego Comin & Danial Lashkari & Martí Mestieri, 2021. "Structural Change With Long‐Run Income and Price Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(1), pages 311-374, January.
    14. Jones, C.I., 2016. "The Facts of Economic Growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 3-69, Elsevier.
    15. Mark Bils, 2004. "Measuring the Growth from Better and Better Goods," NBER Working Papers 10606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Michael Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Ayseful Sahin, 2013. "The Decline of the U.S. Labor Share," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(2 (Fall)), pages 1-63.
    17. Foellmi, Reto & Zweimüller, Josef, 2008. "Structural change, Engel's consumption cycles and Kaldor's facts of economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1317-1328, October.
    18. Clemens Struck & Adnan Velic, 2017. "To Augment Or Not To Augment? A Conjecture On Asymmetric Technical Change," Trinity Economics Papers tep0117, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    19. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
    20. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2020. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(6), pages 2188-2244.
    21. Piyabha Kongsamut & Sergio Rebelo & Danyang Xie, 2001. "Beyond Balanced Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 869-882.
    22. Mr. Sergio Rebelo & Ms. Piyabha Kongsamut & Danyang Xie, 2001. "Beyond Balanced Growth," IMF Working Papers 2001/085, International Monetary Fund.
    23. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "Structural Change in a Multisector Model of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 429-443, March.
    24. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
    25. Mark Aguiar & Mark Bils, 2015. "Has Consumption Inequality Mirrored Income Inequality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2725-2756, September.
    26. H. Uzawa, 1961. "Neutral Inventions and the Stability of Growth Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 117-124.
    27. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2012. "The Rise of the Service Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2540-2569, October.
    28. David Hémous & Morten Olsen, 2022. "The Rise of the Machines: Automation, Horizontal Innovation, and Income Inequality," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 179-223, January.
    29. Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), 1978. "Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780444850133.
    30. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549.
    31. John Laitner, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 545-561.
    32. Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel, 1978. "Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications (I): The Theory of Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number fuss1978.
    33. Jeremy Greenwood & Gokce Uysal, 2005. "New Goods and the Transition to a New Economy," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 99-134, June.
    34. Antràs Pol, 2004. "Is the U.S. Aggregate Production Function Cobb-Douglas? New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, April.
    35. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2010. "Identifying the Elasticity of Substitution with Biased Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1330-1357, September.
    36. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2009. "Structural Change in an Interdependent World: A Global View of Manufacturing Decline," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 478-486, 04-05.
    37. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2017. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series dp-297, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    38. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-Product Versus Within-Product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 647-678.
    39. Matthew Rognlie, 2015. "Deciphering the Fall and Rise in the Net Capital Share," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 50(1 (Spring), pages 1-69.
    40. David H. Autor, 2015. "Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
    41. Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & ?kos Valentinyi, 2013. "Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2752-2789, December.
    42. Matthew Rognlie, 2015. "Deciphering the Fall and Rise in the Net Capital Share: Accumulation or Scarcity?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 1-69.
    43. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2007. "Factor Substitution and Factor-Augmenting Technical Progress in the United States: A Normalized Supply-Side System Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 183-192, February.
    44. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    45. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2016. "The Race Between Machine and Man: Implications of Technology for Growth, Factor Shares and Employment," NBER Working Papers 22252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    46. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett, 2015. "Capital Taxation in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 20871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Clemens C. Struck, 2017. "On the Interaction of Growth, Trade and International Macroeconomics," Working Papers 201724, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Clemens C. Struck, 2017. "On the Interaction of Growth, Trade and International Macroeconomics," Working Papers 201724, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    2. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Long, Ngo Van & Poschke, Markus, 2018. "Capital-labor substitution, structural change and the labor income share," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 206-231.
    3. Struck, Clemens C., 2022. "Wealth, price levels, and product quality," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 32-48.
    4. Growiec, Jakub & McAdam, Peter & Mućk, Jakub, 2018. "Endogenous labor share cycles: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 74-93.
    5. Manuel García‐Santana & Josep Pijoan‐Mas & Lucciano Villacorta, 2021. "Investment Demand and Structural Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(6), pages 2751-2785, November.
    6. Clemens Struck & Adnan Velic, 2017. "To Augment Or Not To Augment? A Conjecture On Asymmetric Technical Change," Trinity Economics Papers tep0117, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    7. Jakub Mućk & Peter McAdam & Jakub Growiec, 2018. "Will The “True” Labor Share Stand Up? An Applied Survey On Labor Share Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 961-984, September.
    8. Robert Z. Lawrence, 2015. "Recent Declines in Labor's Share in US Income: A Preliminary Neoclassical Account," Working Paper Series WP15-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    9. Agustin Velasquez, 2023. "Production Technology, Market Power, and the Decline of the Labor Share," IMF Working Papers 2023/032, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Long, Ngo & Poschke, Markus, 2017. "Capital-labor substitution, structural change and growth," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(3), September.
    11. George Sorg-Langhans & Clemens C. Struck & Adnan Velic, 2018. "Solving Leontief's Paradox with Endogenous Growth Theory," Working Papers 201819p, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    12. Gregory Casey & Ryo Horii, 2019. "A Multi-factor Uzawa Growth Theorem and Endogenous Capital-Augmenting Technological Change," ISER Discussion Paper 1051, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    13. Gallipoli, Giovanni & Makridis, Christos A., 2018. "Structural transformation and the rise of information technology," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 91-110.
    14. Comunale, Mariarosaria & Felice, Giulia, 2022. "Trade and structural change: An empirical investigation," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 58-79.
    15. Song, Eunbi, 2021. "What drives labor share change? Evidence from Korean industries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 370-385.
    16. Gray, Elie & Grimaud, André & Le Bris, David, 2018. "The Farmer, the Blue-collar, and the Monk: Understanding economic development through saturations of demands and non-homothetic productivity gains," TSE Working Papers 18-906, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    17. George Sorg-Langhans & Clemens Struck & Adnan Velic, 2017. "On the Factor Content of Trade," Trinity Economics Papers tep0817, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2018.
    18. vom Lehn, Christian, 2018. "Understanding the decline in the U.S. labor share: Evidence from occupational tasks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 191-220.
    19. Zhang, Hongsong, 2019. "Non-neutral technology, firm heterogeneity, and labor demand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 145-168.
    20. Adnan Velic, 2023. "Wages and the Role of Intangibles in Finance," Trinity Economics Papers tep0323, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uzawa's theorem; Automation; Goods quality; Structural change; Reallocations; Growth; Nonhomothetic preferences; Hierarchical demand;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201912. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Nicolas Clifton (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educdie.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.