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Substitution elasticities in a CES production framework: An empirical analysis on the basis of non-linear least squares estimations

  • Koesler, Simon
  • Schymura, Michael

Effectiveness, cost-efficiency and distribution issues are crucial for any form of future regulation. This results in the need for reliable instruments to assess regulations ex ante. Elasticities are key parameters for such instruments. We consistently estimate substitution elasticities for a three level nested CES KLEM production structure on the basis of non-linear least squares estimation procedures. Thereby we take advantage of the new World-Input-Output Database. This allows us for the first time to use one consistent dataset for the estimation process and gives us the opportunity to derive elasticities from the same data which researchers can use to calibrate their simulations. Our results show that compared to standard linear estimations using Kmenta approximations, non-linear estimation techniques perform significantly better. Moreover, during the time period we consider, no significant change in input substitutability takes place over time. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the common practice of using Cobb-Douglas or Leontief production functions in economic models must be rejected for the majority of sectors. In response to this result, we provide a comprehensive set of consistently estimated substitution elasticities covering 35 sectors.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 12-007.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:12007
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  1. Edward J. Balistreri & Christine A. McDaniel & Eina Vivian Wong, 2003. "An Estimation of U.S. Industry-Level Capital-Labor Substitution," Computational Economics 0303001, EconWPA.
  2. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741 Elsevier.
  3. León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2009. "Identifying the elasticity of substitution with biased technical change," Working Paper Series 1001, European Central Bank.
  4. Arne Henningsen & Géraldine Henningsen, 2011. "Econometric Estimation of the “Constant Elasticity of Substitution" Function in R: Package micEconCES," IFRO Working Paper 2011/9, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  5. Kemfert, Claudia, 1998. "Estimated substitution elasticities of a nested CES production function approach for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 249-264, June.
  6. Balistreri, Edward J. & McDaniel, Christine A. & Wong, Eina Vivian, 2003. "An estimation of US industry-level capital-labor substitution elasticities: support for Cobb-Douglas," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 343-356, December.
  7. Edwin van der Werf, 2007. "Production Functions for Climate Policy Modeling: An Empirical Analysis," Kiel Working Papers 1316, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Dawkins, Christina & Srinivasan, T.N. & Whalley, John, 2001. "Calibration," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 58, pages 3653-3703 Elsevier.
  9. Thursby, Jerry G & Lovell, C A Knox, 1978. "An Investigation of the Kmenta Approximation to the CES Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 363-77, June.
  10. Jacoby, Henry D. & Reilly, John M. & McFarland, James R. & Paltsev, Sergey, 2006. "Technology and technical change in the MIT EPPA model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 610-631, November.
  11. McKitrick, Ross R., 1998. "The econometric critique of computable general equilibrium modeling: the role of functional forms," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 543-573, October.
  12. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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