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Biased Technical Change, Scale, and Factor Substitution in American Industry, 1850-1919

Louis P. Cain and Donald G. Paterson
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Mar., 1986), pp. 153-164
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2121271
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Biased Technical Change, Scale, and Factor Substitution in American Industry, 1850-1919
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Abstract

Biased technical change, scale economies, and factor substitution were part of U.S. manufacturing's technical response to factor price movements during the period 1850 to 1919. In this article we employ the cost dual of a Generalized Leontief production function to test directly for the presence of these three effects for nineteen two-digit manufacturing sectors. Biased technical change is found in all but one sector; scale economies in all but two; factor substitutability, in all but five. Estimates of scale and bias effects for labor, capital, and materials are presented by sector, and the results are compared with other recent work.

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