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The Labour Input Response to Permanent Changes in Output: An Errors-in-Variables Analysis Based on Panel Data

Erik Biørn and Tor Jakob Klette
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Vol. 101, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 379-404
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3440744
Page Count: 26
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The Labour Input Response to Permanent Changes in Output: An Errors-in-Variables Analysis Based on Panel Data
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Abstract

Using panel data for Norwegian manufacturing, we revisit 'the increasing returns to scale puzzle' for labour inputs. We consider the response of the input of white-collar workers, blue-collar workers, and blue-collar worker hours to permanent changes in output. Permanent and temporary changes in output are treated as latent variables. We compare OLS, IV, and GMM estimates of the response elasticities and conclude that the distinction between permanent and temporary changes is essential. Our GMM estimates suggest that the 'increasing returns to scale puzzle' remains for all measures of the labour input also when we consider their response to permanent changes in output. For materials, the output response indicates approximately constant returns to scale. This suggests non-homotheticity of the production technology.

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