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Estimating the long-run user cost elasticity for a small open economy: evidence using data from South Africa
This paper estimates the long run elasticity of the demand for fixed nonresidential capital (both equipment and structures) to changes in its user cost using a quarterly panel of two-digit manufacturing data from South Africa from 1970 to 2001. Using a difference specification that does not rely on cointegration, we find highly significant estimates of the user cost elasticity on the order of -0.80. These estimates contrast sharply with many previous studies that obtained small and/or statistically insignificant estimates of the user cost elasticity using U.S. data. This discrepancy may owe ...
The elasticity of intertemporal substitution: new evidence from 401(k) participation
A key parameter in economics is the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS), which measures the extent to which consumers shift total expenditures across time in response to changes in the effective rate of return. In contrast to the previous literature, which primarily has relied on Euler equation methods and generated a wide range of estimates, we show how a life-cycle-consistent econometric specification of employee 401(k) participation along with plausibly exogenous variation in rates of return due to employer matching contributions can be used to generate new estimates of the EIS. ...
Estimating elasticities for U.S. trade in services
Explanations of the persistent deficit in U.S. net exports of goods rest on macroeconomic developments and an asymmetry in elasticities: the income elasticity for imports being larger than the income elasticity for exports. Such macroeconomic developments are not applicable to the equally persistent surplus in U.S. net exports of services unless the income elasticities for services exhibit the reversed asymmetry. There have been surprisingly few attempts to demonstrate the existence of this reversed asymmetry, a task that I undertake here. Specifically, I estimate income and price ...