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Heterogeneity and aggregation in the labor market : implications for aggregate preference shifts

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  • Yongsung Chang
  • Sun-Bin Kim

Abstract

The cyclical behavior of hours of work, wages, and consumption does not conform with the prediction of the representative agent with standard preferences. The residual in the intra-temporal first-order condition for commodity consumption and leisure is often viewed as a failure of labor-market clearing. We show that a simple heterogeneous agent economy with incomplete markets and indivisible labor generates an aggregation error that looks much like the preference residual in aggregate data. Our results caution against viewing the preference residual as a failure of labor-market clearing or a fundamental driving force of business cycles.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 03-17.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:03-17

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Keywords: Labor market;

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  1. Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic," RCER Working Papers 399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. V. V. Chari & Patrick Kehoe & Ellen McGrattan, 2004. "Business Cycle Accounting," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000560, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2006. "From Individual To Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based On A Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, 02.
  5. Heckman, James, 1984. "Comments on the Ashenfelter and Kydland papers," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 209-224, January.
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  7. Mankiw, N Gregory & Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 225-51, February.
  8. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  9. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 1998. "Using Consumer Theory to Test Competing Business Cycle Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 233-261, April.
  10. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  11. Albert Marcet & Guido Lorenzoni, 1998. "Parameterized expectations approach; Some practical issues," Economics Working Papers 296, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  12. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
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  14. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  15. Hall, Robert E., 1987. "Productivity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 421-444, January.
  16. Nakajima, Tomoyuki, 2005. "A business cycle model with variable capacity utilization and demand disturbances," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1331-1360, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Takashi Kano & Hafedh Bouakez, 2005. "Learning-by-doing or Habit Formation?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 126, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Understanding Differences in Hours Worked," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 365-409, July.

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