Endogenous Labor Share Cycles: Theory and Evidence
72 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 16, 2015
Based on long US time series we document a range of empirical properties of the labor’s share of GDP, including its substantial medium-run swings. We explore the extent to which these empirical regularities can be explained by a calibrated micro-founded long-run economic growth model with normalized CES technology and endogenous labor- and capital-augmenting technical change driven by purposeful directed R&D investments. It is found that dynamic macroeconomic trade-offs created by arrivals of both types of new technologies may lead to prolonged swings in the labor share due to oscillatory convergence to the balanced growth path as well as stable limit cycles via Hopf bifurcations. Both predictions are broadly in line with the empirical evidence.
Keywords: labor income share, endogenous cycles, factor-augmenting endogenous technical change, technology menu, R&D, CES, normalization
JEL Classification: E25, E32, O33, O41
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