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The Intertemporal-Substitution Hypothesis is Alive and Well ( But Hiding in the Data)

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  • Kniesner, T.J.
  • Kimmel, J.

Abstract

According to the intertemporal-substitution hypothesis, which underlies the typical empirical real business cycle model, cyclical fluctuations in employment and hours of work are optimizing labor-supply responses to short-run aggregate demand shifts. We demonstrate that previous empirical labor-supply research has used inappropriate data to test the intertemporal-substitution hypothesis. We estimate a fixed-effects life-cycle labor-supply model with more informative data, the triannual micro data of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. We find economy-wide wage elasticities of employment and hours worked per employee of +1.55 and +0.51, which support the intertemporal-substitution hypothesis and give econometric credibility to the labor-market specification of empirical real business cycle models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research in its series Papers with number 93-014.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 1993
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:indian:93-014

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Postal: Indiana University, Center for Econometric Model Research, Department of Economics; Bloomington, IN 47405.
Phone: 812-855-1021
Fax: 812-855-3736
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Web page: http://www.indiana.edu/~econweb/
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Keywords: business cycles ; labour supply;

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References

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  1. Cho, Jang-Ok & Cooley, Thomas F., 1994. "Employment and hours over the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 411-432, March.
  2. Altug, Sumru & Miller, Robert A, 1990. "Household Choices in Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 543-70, May.
  3. Eichenbaum, Martin S & Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1988. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption and Leisure Choice under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 51-78, February.
  4. Kniesner, Thomas J & Goldsmith, Arthur H, 1987. "A Survey of Alternative Models of the Aggregate U.S. Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 1241-80, September.
  5. David Card, 1991. "Intertemporal Labor Supply: An Assessment," NBER Working Papers 3602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Orley Ashenfelter, 1977. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Working Papers 484, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Hotz, V Joseph & Kydland, Finn E & Sedlacek, Guilherme L, 1988. "Intertemporal Preferences and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 335-60, March.
  8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-54, Sept./Oct.
  9. John Bound & Charles Brown & Greg J. Duncan & Willard L Rodgers, 1989. "Measurement Error In Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Surveys: Results From Two Validation Studies," NBER Working Papers 2884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:fth:prinin:269 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Gary D. Hansen & Randall Wright, 1992. "The labor market in real business cycle theory," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-12.
  12. 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.
  13. Kennan, John, 1988. "An Econometric Analysis of Fluctuations in Aggregate Labor Supply and Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 317-33, March.
  14. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-99, July.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 0898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-43, May.
  17. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S176-S215, June.
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