The Variable Elasticity of Substitution Function and Endogenous Growth: An Empirical Evidence from Vietnam

Nguyen Ngoc Thach
International Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Volume VIII, Issue 1, 263-277, 2020
DOI: 10.35808/ijeba/424


Purpose: To specify a Variable Elasticity of Substitution function (VES), in which the estimated Elasticity of Substitution (ES) can give some implications for the tendency of economic growth in the Vietnames manufacturing sector. Design/Methodology/Approach: The contribution and the relevant methodology is based on the Bayesian approach having some advantages over the frequentist method: (i) the simulation and prediction results are more reliable in Bayesian analysis due to combining prior knowledge about parameters with obverved data to compose a posterior model, whereas the frequentist approach is based only on available data; (ii) in probability sense, Bayesian credible intervals have a straightforward interpretation compared to frequentist confidence intervals. The Bayesian nonlinear regresion performed is suitable for fitting production functions and depicting economic growth. Findings: The specified VES function has the ES greater than one and this finding contradicts many previous empirical studies in the growth theory. This result points to the possibility of unbounded endogenous growth in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector. Practical implications: Based on the empirical results, in order to realize the possibility of endogenous growth for the studied Vietnamese manufacturing sector, policies of enforcing investment are needed. To raise the level of science and technique, as well as human capital of the Vietnamese enterprises, at the same time, there is great necessity to encourage R&D activities in both the private and public sectors. Originality/Value: Although this study organically builds upon recent studies about the link between the VES, the elasticity of factor subsitution and economic growth, its results proved that the VES is more appropriate than the Cobb-Douglas and the Constant Elasticity of Substitution (CES) to explain economic growth in the view of capital-labor relationship.

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