The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper provides an explanation for the secular increase in the price of services relative to that of manufactured goods that relies on capital accumulation rather than on an exogenous total factor productivity growth differential. The key assumptions of the two-sector, intertemporal optimizing model are relatively high capital intensity in the production of goods and limited cross-border capital mobility, allowing the interest rate to vary. With plausible parameterization, the model also predicts a decline in the employment share of the goods sector over time.