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Intertemporal Labor Supply and Long-term Employment Contracts

  • Abowd, John M
  • Card, David

The authors compare the implications of a symmetric information contracting model and a dynamic labor supply model for changes in earnings and hours. A simple test is whether earnings changes are more variable than hours changes, as predicted by the labor supply model, or less variable, as predicted by the contracting model. The authors apply this test to two longitudinal surveys of adult men and find that earnings are somewhat more variable than hours for men who never change employers. The estimates suggest that changes in earnings and hours not associated with survey measurement error occur at fixed wage rates. Copyright 1987 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 77 (1987)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 50-68

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:77:y:1987:i:1:p:50-68
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  1. Joseph Altonji & Christina Paxson, 1985. "Job Characteristics and Hours of Work," Working Papers 578, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. 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.
  3. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  4. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Life Cycle Consumption and Labor Supply: An Explanation of the Relationship Between Income and Consumption Over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 188-94, March.
  5. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  6. 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.
  7. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
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