Problems Estimating Aggregate Production Functions, Growth Accounting and Total Factor Productivity

Other Topics: Asia’s Growth and Development •• Inclusive Growth and Employment •• Structural Transformation


Refereed Publications


  • “Can the Marginal Productivity Theory of Distribution be Tested?” (with JSL McCombie). Review of Radical Political Economics. Download .pdf


  • “The Aggregate Production Function: ‘Not Even Wrong’” (with JSL McCombie). Review of Political Economy. Vol. 26. No. 1 (January): 60-84. Download .pdf


  • “On Herbert Simon’s Criticism of the Cobb-Douglas and the CES Production Functions.” (with JSL McCombie). Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Winter 2011-12, Vol. 34, No. 2: 275-293. Download .pdf


  • “Some Caveats Modeling Technical Progress and Investment: The Case of China” (with JSL McCombie). Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy, Vol. 2, No. 2: 305-324. Download .pdf
  • Product Space: ¿Qué nos dice sobre las oportunidades de crecimiento y transformación estructural del Africa subsahariana? (with Arnelyn Abdon). Fundación Ideas. Discussion Paper. Download .pdf (English) Download .pdf (Spanish)


  • “What is Wrong with Aggregate Production Functions. On Temple’s “Aggregate Production Functions and Growth Economics” (with JSL McCombie). International Review of Applied Economics, Vol.24, No.6 (November): 665-684. Download .pdf


  • “Are estimates of labor demand functions mere statistical artefacts?” (with JSL McCombie). International Review of Applied Economics, Vol.23, No.2 (March): 146-168. Download .pdf


  • “Economic Growth, Externalities and Increasing Returns to Scale: What the Data Cannot Show” (with JSL McCombie). Economia e Sociedade, Vol.17, Special Number (December): 657-677. Download .pdf
  • “What Policymakers should know about Total Factor Productivity.” Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies. Vol. 45 No.1. (June): 1-19. Download .pdf
  • “Correcting for Biases when estimating production functions: An Illusion of the laws of algebra?” (with Rana Hasan and JSL McCombie).Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol.32, No.3 (May): 441-459 Download .pdf


  • “Is a Theory of Total Factor Productivity really needed?” (with JSL McCombie). Metroeconomica, Vol. 58, No.1: 195-229. Download .pdf
  • “On the Rental Price of Capital and the Profit Rate. The Perils and Pitfalls of Total Factor Productivity Growth” (with JSL McCombie). Review of Political Economy, Vol.19, No.3 (July): 317-345. Download .pdf


  • “Aggregate Production Functions, Neoclassical Growth Models and the Aggregation Problem.” (with Franklin M. Fisher). Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Vol. 24-1 (April): pp.127-163. Download .pdf
  • “The Tyranny of the Identity: Growth Accounting Revisited.” (with JSL McCombie). International Review of Applied Economics, Vol.20, No.3 (July): 283-299. Download .pdf


  • “‘A THEORY OF PRODUCTION’. The Estimation of the Cobb-Douglas Function: A Retrospective View” (with F. Gerard Adams). Eastern Economic Journal, Vol.31, No.3 (Summer): 427-446. Download .pdf
  • “How Sound are the Foundations of the Aggregate Production Function?” (with JSL McCombie). Eastern Economic Journal, Vol.31, No.3 (Summer): 467-488. Download .pdf
  • “Why are Some Countries Richer than Others? A Sceptical View of Mankiw-Romer-Weil’s Test of the Neoclassical Growth Model” (with JSL McCombie). Metroeconomica, Vol.56, No.3: pp.360-392.
    Download .pdf
  • “La Función de Producción Agregada en Retrospectiva” (with JSL McCombie). Investigación Económica, Vol.LXIV, No.253 (Julio-Septiembre): pp.43-88. Download .pdf


  • “To Measure or Not to Measure TFP Growth? A reply to Mahadevan” (with JSL McCombie). Oxford Development Studies, Vol.32, No.2 (June): 321-327. Download .pdf


  • “Whatever Happened to the Cambridge Capital Theory Controversies? A Comment” (with JSL McCombie). Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol.17, No.4 (Fall): 229-231. Download .pdf
  • “Aggregation in Production Functions: What Applied Economists Should Know” (with Franklin M. Fisher). Metroeconomica, Vol.54, No.2-3 (May-September): 208-262. Download .pdf
  • “Some Methodological Problems with the Neoclassical Analysis of the East Asian Miracle.” (with JSL McCombie). Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol.54, No.5 (August): 695-721. Download .pdf


  • “Productivity in China before and after 1978 revisited” (with JSL McCombie). Zagreb International Review of Economics and Business, Vol.5, No.1 (May): 17-43. Download .pdf
  • “A Problem with Some Recent Estimations and Interpretations of the Markup in Manufacturing Industry.” (with JSL McCombie). International Review of Applied Economics, Vol.16, No.2 (April): 187-215. Download .pdf


  • “Endogenous Growth, Increasing Returns, and Externalities: An Alternative Interpretation of the Evidence.” Metroeconomica, Vol.52, No.4 (November): 391-427. Download .pdf
  • “The CES Production Function, the Accounting Identity, and Occam’s Razor.” (with JSL McCombie). Applied Economics, Vol.33, No.10 (August): 1221-1232. Download .pdf
  • “Aggregate Production Functions and the Measurement of Infrastructure Productivity: A Reassessment.” Eastern Economic Journal, Vol.27, No.3 (Summer): 323-344. Download .pdf
  • “Why Do Aggregate Production Functions Work? Fisher’s Simulations, Shaikh’s Identity, and Some New Results.” (with Carsten Holz). International Review of Applied Economics, Vol.15, No.3 (July): 261-285. Download .pdf


  • “On the Myth and Mystery of Singapore’s ‘Zero TFP’.” Asian Economic Journal, Vol.14, No.2 (June): 187-209. Download .pdf


  • “Wan’s “New Approach” to Technical Change: A Comment.” (with J.S.L. McCombie). Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol.27, No.2 (June): 355-363. Download .pdf
  • “Total Factor Productivity Growth in East Asia: A Critical Survey.” The Journal of Development Studies, Vol.34, No.5 (April): 1-41. Download .pdf


  • “Does the Aggregate Production Function Imply Anything about the Laws of Production? A Comment.” Applied Economics Letters, 5 (9) (September): 543-547. Download .pdf

Invited Articles, Non-Refereed, and Book Chapters


  • “How Sound are the Foundations of the Aggregate Production Function?” (With JSL McCombie). In The Oxford Handbook of Post-Keynesian Economics, Volume 2: Critiques and Methodology (eds. G.C. Harcourt and Peter Kriesler). Download .pdf


  • “On Accounting Identities, Simulation Experiments and Aggregate Production Functions: A Cautionary Tale for (Neoclassical) Growth Theorists” (with John McCombie). Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Growth (ed. Mark Setterfield), p. 189-207. Northampton: Edward Elgar. Download .pdf


  • “Production Function” (with Aashish Mehta). International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, 2nd edition: 508-512. Download .pdf
  • “Aggregation (Production)” (with Franklin M. Fisher). In Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence Blume (eds.) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Palgrave Macmillan. Download .pdf
  • “What Can the Labor Demand Function Tell Us About Wages and Employment? The Case of the Philippines ” (with JSL McCombie). In Janine Berg and David Kucera (eds), In Defence of Labour Market Institutions: Cultivating Justice in the Developing World, pp.119-149. Palgrave Macmillan. Download .pdf