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DOI: 10.4236/tel.2019.91019    313 Downloads   660 Views
James Feigenbaum


Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA.


It is well known for a Cobb-Douglas production function that the elasticity of a factor demand is the inverse of the share of output going to the other factors. Since Cobb-Douglas has a unit elasticity of substitution, the demand elasticity trivially equals the ratio of the elasticity of substitution to the share of output going to the other factor. I show here that this result can be generalized to any constant returns to scale production function. As a result, if a factor is known to be a substitute for (complement of) other factors, the inverse of the share of output going to other factors will be a lower (upper) bound for the factor’s elasticity of demand.


Elasticity of Substitution, Elasticity of Labor Demand, Output Share

Cite this paper

Feigenbaum, J. (2019) A Nonparametric Formula Relating the Elasticity of a Factor Demand to the Elasticity of Substitution. Theoretical Economics Letters, 9, 240-246. doi: 10.4236/tel.2019.91019.
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