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

Author

Listed:
  • 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, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpco:0303001
    Note: Type of Document - PDF; pages: 26; figures: Included
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    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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