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An Estimation of U.S. Industry-Level Capital-Labor Substitution

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  • Edward J. Balistreri

    (USTIC)

  • Christine A. McDaniel

    (USITC)

  • Eina Vivian Wong

    (University of Colorado)

Abstract

A key parameter that determines the distributional impacts of a policy shift in general equilibrium models is the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor. Despite the importance of this parameter in applied modeling, its identification continues to pose a challenge. Given the structure of most growth models, we posit that the true relationship between capital and labor is likely to be close to Cobb- Douglas. Using a rich new data set from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, we estimate substitution elasticities for 28 industries, which cover the entire economy, and provide an indication of the long- and short-run estimates. We fail to reject the Cobb-Douglas specification in 20 of the 28 industries. These findings lend support to the Cobb-Douglas specification as a transparent starting point in simulation analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J. Balistreri & Christine A. McDaniel & Eina Vivian Wong, 2003. "An Estimation of U.S. Industry-Level Capital-Labor Substitution," Computational Economics 0303001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpco:0303001
    Note: Type of Document - PDF; pages: 26; figures: Included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Koesler, Simon & Schymura, Michael, 2012. "Substitution elasticities in a CES production framework: An empirical analysis on the basis of non-linear least squares estimations," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-007, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Yalew, Amsalu W. & Hirte, Georg & Lotze-Campen, Hermann & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2017. "General equilibrium effects of public adaptation in agriculture in LDCs: Evidence from Ethiopia," CEPIE Working Papers 11/17, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    3. Martin de Wit & Matthew Kuperus Heun & Douglas J Crookes, 2013. "An overview of salient factors, relationships and values to support integrated energy-economic systems dynamic modelling," Working Papers 02/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    4. Lukáš Rečka, 2013. "Estimation of the elasticity of substitution of production factors in CEE economies," EcoMod2013 5420, EcoMod.
    5. P. Capros & Denise Van Regemorter & Leonidas Paroussos & P. Karkatsoulis & C. Fragkiadakis & S. Tsani & I. Charalampidis & Tamas Revesz, 2013. "GEM-E3 Model Documentation," JRC Working Papers JRC83177, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    6. Michał Konopczyński, 2014. "How Taxes and Spending on Education Influence Economic Growth in Poland," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 8(3), September.
    7. Joshua Elliott & Meredith Franklin & Ian Foster & Todd Munson & Margaret Loudermilk, 2012. "Propagation of Data Error and Parametric Sensitivity in Computable General Equilibrium Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 39(3), pages 219-241, March.
    8. Sauquet, Alexandre & Lecocq, Franck & Delacote, Philippe & Caurla, Sylvain & Barkaoui, Ahmed & Garcia, Serge, 2011. "Estimating Armington elasticities for sawnwood and application to the French Forest Sector Model," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 771-781.
    9. Julia Hall & Grant Scobie, 2005. "Capital Shallowness: A Problem for New Zealand?," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/05, New Zealand Treasury.
    10. Robert Rowthorn, 2014. "A Note on Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century," Working Papers wp462, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    11. Zhenhua Chen, 2013. "Spatial Impact of Transportation Infrastructure: A Spatial Econometric CGE Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa13p241, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Jean Mercenier & Maria Teresa Alvarez Martinez & Andries Brandsma & Francesco Di Comite & Olga Diukanova & d'Artis Kancs & Patrizio Lecca & Montserrat Lopez-Cobo & Philippe Monfort & Damiaan Persyn & , 2016. "RHOMOLO-v2 Model Description: A spatial computable general equilibrium model for EU regions and sectors," JRC Working Papers JRC100011, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    13. Young, Andrew T., 2013. "U.S. Elasticities Of Substitution And Factor Augmentation At The Industry Level," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(04), pages 861-897, June.
    14. Simon Koesler & Michael Schymura, 2012. "Substitution Elasticities for CGE Models," EcoMod2012 4010, EcoMod.
    15. Stefano Fachin & Andrea Gavosto, 2010. "Trends of labour productivity in Italy: a study with panel co-integration methods," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(7), pages 755-769, October.
    16. Antoszewski, Michal, 2017. "Panel estimation of sectoral substitution elasticities for CES production functions," MF Working Papers 28, Ministry of Finance in Poland.
    17. Rose Adam Z. & Oladosu Gbadebo & Lee Bumsoo & Asay Garrett Beeler, 2009. "The Economic Impacts of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 1-31, July.
    18. Michał Konopczyński, 2013. "Fiscal policy within a common currency area – growth implications in the light of neoclassical theory," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 7(3), September.
    19. Taheripour, Farzad & Khanna, Madhu & Nelson, Charles, 2005. "Welfare Impacts of Alternative Public Policies for Environmental Protection in Agriculture in an Open Economy: A General Equilibrium Framework," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19317, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    20. M. Chepeliev, 2015. "Econometric estimation of capital-labor substitution elasticities for Ukrainian CGE model," Economy and Forecasting, Valeriy Heyets, issue 2, pages 33-46.
    21. Hugo Toledo, 2005. "Adjustment to trade reform in Ecuador," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 41-53.
    22. Aaron Drew, 2007. "New Zealand's productivity performance and prospects," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 70, March.
    23. Knoblach, Michael & Rößler, Martin & Zwerschke, Patrick, 2016. "The Elasticity of Factor Substitution Between Capital and Labor in the U.S. Economy: A Meta-Regression Analysis," CEPIE Working Papers 03/16, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    24. Fachin, Stefano & Gavosto, Andrea, 2007. "The decline in Italian productivity: a study in estimation of long-Run trends in Total Factor Productivity with panel cointegration methods," MPRA Paper 3112, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Econometric Methods; Time Series Models; Computable General Equilibrium Models;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models

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