Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Economics / Economic Policy
Our main focus of interest is the relationship between energy and capital in the Canadian manufacturing industries. The major importance of the energy-capital relationship, from the standpoint of macroeconomic policy, is that various public policy measures designed to economize energy-use, on the one hand, and those designed to provide incentives for increasing capital formation, on the other, can be reconciled only if energy and capital are easily substituted for each other in the long run. A finding of long run energy and capital complementarity makes these policy measures mutually inconsistent and counterproductive. The issue is still unresolved. In this thesis we attempt to underscore the fact that, in the context of production activity, the energy-capital relationship is essentially a technological one. Therefore our modelling effort is directed towards exploring various aspects of the phenomenon of technological change, including (a) dis-embodied and (b) embodied, occurring (i) at an exogenous rate (a vintage view) and (ii) at an endogenous rate (a learning view). In the context of the disembodied characterization of technological change, we use a modified version of the translog cost function that enables us to separately identify various sources of technological change. With an embodied characterization of technological change, on the other hand, we use a Solow-type index of wholly capital-embodied technological change that, unlike the proxy variable time-trend (t), registers an increase only when there is an actual increase in the proportion of investment in the latest vintage of capital. The theme of embodied technological change is carried further into a relatively unexplored dimension. A theory of learning as a kind of meta-technical change is developed that, unlike Arrow's wholly capital embodied "learning by doing", envisages a learning by use that is attributable to the labor input that has been engaged in the use of machinery and equipment over a period of time. We develop a measure of learning by use and empirically implement it in the factor-augmentation framework, for each of the twenty groups of industries which, in the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), comprise the manufacturing sector of Canada. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Rahman, Saleem Ur, "Alternative representations of technological change, learning by use, and energy substitution in Canadian manufacturing industries" (1992). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 3843.