Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Casey B. Mulligan

Abstract

I construct direct measures of labor-leisure distortions for the American economy during the period 1889-1996, using a new method for empirically evaluating competitive equilibrium models and extending that method to some noncompetitive situations. I then compare measured labor-leisure distortions to proxies for potential restraints of trade: distortionary taxes and subsidies, labor market regulation, monopoly unionism, and search frictions. Distortions have grown steadily over the century, with the exception of the Great Depression (when distortions were above trend), WWII (below trend), and the 1980's (below trend). Marginal tax rates are well correlated with labor-leisure distortions at low frequencies, but cannot explain Depression, wartime, or 1980's distortions. Monopoly unionism might explain a small part of the Depression distortions, and the decline of unions might explain some of the reduced distortions in the 1980's. In general, I find the decade-to-decade aggregate fluctuations in consumption, wages, and work to be hard to reconcile with simple quantitative models of labor supply and demand.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8774.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8774.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8774

Note: PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-44, September.
  2. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
  3. Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105, October.
  4. Wu, Yangru & Zhang, Junxi, 2000. "Endogenous markups and the effects of income taxation:: Theory and evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 383-406, September.
  5. Barro, Robert J. & Sahasakul, Chaipat, 1986. "Average Marginal Tax Rates from Social Security and the Individual Income Tax," Scholarly Articles 3451298, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Rockoff,Hugh, 1984. "Drastic Measures," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521244961, April.
  7. Feldstein, Martin & Samwick, Andrew A., 1992. "Social Security Rules and Marginal Tax Rates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, March.
  8. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  10. Casey B. Mulligan, 2001. "Aggregate Implications of Indivisible Labor," NBER Working Papers 8159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  12. Romer, Christina, 1986. "New Estimates of Prewar Gross National Product and Unemployment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 341-352, June.
  13. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  14. Stephenson, E. Frank, 1998. "Average marginal tax rates revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 389-409, April.
  15. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
  16. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  17. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1972. "Unemployment in the Great Depression: Is There a Full Explanation?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(1), pages 186-91, Jan.-Feb..
  18. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 26, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  19. Ingram, Beth F. & Kocherlakota, Narayana R. & Savin, N. E., 1997. "Using theory for measurement: An analysis of the cyclical behavior of home production," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 435-456, December.
  20. Parkin, M., 1988. "A Method For Determining Whether Parameters In Aggregative Models Are Structural," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8803, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  21. Irving F. Leveson, 1967. "Reductions in Hours of Work as a Source of Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 199.
  22. Jennifer Hunt, 1998. "Hours Reductions as Work-Sharing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 339-381.
  23. Robert J. Barro & Robert G. King, 1982. "Time-Separable Preference and Intertemporal-Substitution Models of Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 0888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Goldin, Claudia, 1988. "Maximum Hours Legislation and Female Employment: A Reassessment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 189-205, February.
  25. Barro, Robert J & Grossman, Herschel I, 1971. "A General Disequilibrium Model of Income and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 82-93, March.
  26. James R. Spletzer & Katharine G. Abraham & Jay C. Stewart, 1999. "Why Do Different Wage Series Tell Different Stories?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 34-39, May.
  27. Weir, David R., 1986. "The Reliability of Historical Macroeconomic Data for Comparing Cyclical Stability," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 353-365, June.
  28. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Pecuniary Incentives to Work in the United States during World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1033-1077, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8774. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.