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Arguing A Case For The Cobb-Douglas Production Function


  • K V Bhanu Murthy

    (Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics)


The paper argues that Cobb-Douglas (CD) production function merits use for analysing the production process, not because it should be looked upon as a simple tool which can be handled easily or as a crude remedy for estimation, but because of the advantages it possesses. These advantages are due to the fact that it can handle multiple inputs in its generalised form. Even in the face of imperfections in the market it does not introduce distortions of its own. Unconstrained CD-function further increases its potentialities to handle different scales of production. Various econometric estimation problems, such as serial correlation, hetroscidasticity and multicolinearity can be handled adequately and easily. It is argued that most of its criticism is focussed on its inflexibility and admits that except for one obvious assumptions all other assumptions can be relaxed. It is further argued that it facilitates computations and has the properties of explicit representability, uniformity, parsimony and flexibility. Even the problem of simultaneity can be overcome. The paper argues that aggregate technology can also be well represented by it.

Suggested Citation

  • K V Bhanu Murthy, 2004. "Arguing A Case For The Cobb-Douglas Production Function," Econometrics 0409012, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpem:0409012
    Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lau, Lawrence J., 1986. "Functional forms in econometric model building," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1515-1566 Elsevier.
    2. ZELLNER, Arnold & KMENTA, Jan & DREZE, Jacques H., 1966. "Specification and estimation of Cobb-Douglas production function models," CORE Discussion Papers RP 12, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    Cited by:

    1. Badeeb, Ramez Abubakr & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Smyth, Russell, 2016. "Oil curse and finance–growth nexus in Malaysia: The role of investment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 154-165.
    2. Jules Leichter & Cristina Mocci & Stefania Pozzuoli, "undated". "Measuring External Competitiveness:An Overview," Working Papers 2, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.

    More about this item


    Production; Functional Form;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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