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Further Experiments With The Cobb Douglas Production Function: Italy And Western Europe

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Chapter Summary

The experiment with a Cobb Douglas production function was carried out for Italy, and for Western Europe as a whole. For Italy one have the point estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) and population by Malanima. The three countries this appendix has concentrated on so far, are all rather exceptional: Italy because of its strong long-term decline, Holland and England because of their dynamic development. In between these two extremes were the other European countries, of which the GDP per capita may not have changed very much between 1500 and 1800. The long term development of European wages seems to follow a path that can be simulated by a Cobb Douglas production function assuming no technological change and a very low level of new capital formation; the different phases of population growth then produce the pattern estimated by Allen.

Keywords: Cobb Douglas production function; Italy; Western Europe



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