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Microfoundations and macro implications of indivisible labor

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  • Casey B. Mulligan

Abstract

I show that the “indivisible labor” models of Diamond and Mirrlees (1978, 1986), Hansen (1985), Rogerson (1988), Christiano and Eichenbaum (1992) and many others are, when aggregated across persons with the same marginal utility of income, equivalent to the divisible labor model of Lucas and Rapping (1969); any data on aggregate hours and earnings generated by the divisible (indivisible) model can be generated by some parameterization of the indivisible (divisible) model. The same is true when “macro” data are obtained by aggregating over time and across people. This equivalence means that the indivisibility of labor per se does not have implications for macroeconomics. Nor does indivisibility have “aggregate” normative implications.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 126.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:126

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Keywords: Hours of labor ; Labor supply;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Basu, Parantap & Marsiliani, Laura & Renström, Thomas I, 2004. "Optimal Dynamic Taxation with Indivisible Labour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. John C. Ham & Kevin T. Reilly, 2002. "Testing Intertemporal Substitution, Implicit Contracts, and Hours Restriction Models of the Labor Market Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 905-927, September.
  3. Kuhn, Peter J. & Lozano, Fernando A., 2006. "The Expanding Workweek? Understanding Trends in Long Work Hours Among U.S. Men, 1979-2004," IZA Discussion Papers 1924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Antonio García Sánchez & María del Mar Vázquez Méndez, 2005. "The timing of work in a general equilibrium model with shiftwork," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 29(1), pages 149-179, January.
  5. Basu, Parantap & Renström, Thomas I, 2002. "When to Tax Labour?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3456, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Casey B Mulligan, 2000. "Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publically Induced Retirement?," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 157, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Mulligan Casey B, 2001. "Aggregate Implications of Indivisible Labor," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-35, April.
  8. Thomas Renstrom & Parantap Basu, 2004. "Optimal dynamic taxation with indivisible labor," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 78, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.

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