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

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  • Jean Kimmel

    ()
    (Western Michigan University)

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 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 93-19.

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Date of creation: Apr 1993
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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:93-19

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Keywords: intertemporal-substitution; cycle; Kneisner; Kimmel;

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  1. David Card, 1990. "Intertemporal Labor Supply: An Assessment," Working Papers 649, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Sumru Altug & Robert A. Miller, 1987. "Household choices in equilibrium," Working Papers 341, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 547-64, April.
  7. Joseph Altonji, 1984. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Working Papers 562, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:fth:prinin:269 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. N. Gregory Mankiw & Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 0898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1986. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption andLeisure Choice Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 1981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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