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The marginal product of capital

Caselli, Francesco and Feyrer, James (2005) The marginal product of capital. 11551. National Bureau of Economic Research, London, UK.

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Abstract

Whether or not the marginal product of capital (MPK) differs across countries is a question that keeps coming up in discussions of comparative economic development and patterns of capital flows. Attempts to provide an empirical answer to this question have so far been mostly indirect and based on heroic assumptions. The first contribution of this paper is to present new estimates of the crosscountry dispersion of marginal products. We find that the MPK is much higher on average in poor countries. However, the financial rate of return from investing in physical capital is not much higher in poor countries, so heterogeneity in MPKs is not principally due to financial market frictions. Instead, the main culprit is the relatively high cost of investment goods in developing countries. One implication of our findings is that increased aid flows to developing countries will not significantly increase these countries' incomes.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.nber.org
Additional Information: © 2005 Francesco Caselli and James Feyrer
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E22 - Capital; Investment (including Inventories); Capacity
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O16 - Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 11551
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2008 13:50
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/5289/

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