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Explaining the Evolution of Hours Worked and Employment across OECD Countries: An Equilibrium Search Approach

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  • Langot, François

    ()
    (University of Le Mans)

  • Quintero Rojas, Coralia

    ()
    (University of Le Mans)

Abstract

Since 1960, the dynamics of the aggregate hours of market work exhibit dramatic differences across industrialized countries. Before 1980, these differences seem to come from the hours worked per employee (the intensive margin). However, since 1980 a notable feature of the data is that the divergence across countries responds to quantitatively important differences along the employment rate (the extensive margin). In this paper we develop an equilibrium matching model where both margins are endogenous. The model is rich enough to account for the behavior of the two margins of the aggregate hours when we include the observed heterogeneity across countries of both the taxes and the labor market institutions such as the unemployment benefits and the bargaining power. Because these findings come from an unified framework, they also give a strong support to the matching models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3364.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3364

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Related research

Keywords: hours worked; intensive and extensive margins; taxation; labor market institutions; matching model;

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References

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  1. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, Octomber.
  2. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 486, OECD Publishing.
  3. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  4. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  5. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  6. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Arnaud Cheron & Francois Langot, 2004. "Labor Market Search and Real Business Cycles: Reconciling Nash Bargaining with the Real Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 476-493, April.
  8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Diamond, Peter, 1992. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 354-59, May.
  9. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  10. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. François Langot & Coralia Quintero-Rojas, 2009. "European vs American Hours Worked: assessing the role of the extensive and intensive margins," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 530-542.
  2. Christian Merkl & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2009. "Extensive vs. Intensive Margin in Germany and the United States: Any Differences?," Kiel Working Papers 1563, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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