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The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics

Editor-in-Chief: Cavalcanti, Tiago / Mertens, Karel

Ed. by Abraham, Arpad / Carceles-Poveda , Eva / Debortoli, Davide / Kambourov, Gueorgui / Lambertini, Luisa / Pavoni, Nicola / Ruhl, Kim / Nimark, Kristoffer / Wang, Pengfei

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Sector-Specific Capital, Labor Market Distortions and Cross-Country Income Differences: A Two-Sector General Equilibrium Approach

Asad Karim Khan Priyo1

1University of Toronto

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics. Volume 12, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1690, DOI: 10.1515/1935-1690.2328, March 2012

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This paper highlights the significance of labor market distortions in explaining cross-country income differences using a two-sector general equilibrium model that incorporates modern intermediate inputs used in agriculture together with sector-specific human and physical capital. Using the best available information, I construct new sectoral data on quality-adjusted human capital and PPP-adjusted physical capital. Although both types of capital - physical capital in particular - play important roles, using a sample of 43 countries, I find that in terms of capturing the observed disparities, either in relative labor productivity in agriculture or aggregate output per worker between the rich and the poor countries, the role of labor market distortions outweighs the role of either sectoral human or physical capital.

Keywords: sectoral human capital; sectoral physical capital; labor market distortions; agricultural productivity; income differences; two-sector model

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