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Heterogeneity and Aggregation: Implications for Labor-Market Fluctuations

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Listed:
  • Yongsung Chang
  • Sun-Bin Kim

Abstract

We demonstrate that aggregate employment and consumption can increase without a corresponding movement in productivity in a model with heterogeneous agents where the only aggregate disturbance is a productivity shock. The interaction between incomplete capital markets and indivisible labor results in a low employment-productivity correlation and creates a time-varying wedge between the marginal rate of substitution (for commodity consumption and hours) and productivity. Our results caution against viewing the measured wedge as an inefficiency due to a failure of labor-market clearing or as a fundamental driving force behind business cycles. (JEL D31, E32, J22, J24, J31)

Suggested Citation

  • Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2007. "Heterogeneity and Aggregation: Implications for Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1939-1956, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:5:p:1939-1956 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.5.1939
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chew, Soo Hong, 1983. "A Generalization of the Quasilinear Mean with Applications to the Measurement of Income Inequality and Decision Theory Resolving the Allais Paradox," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1065-1092, July.
    2. Dekel, Eddie, 1986. "An axiomatic characterization of preferences under uncertainty: Weakening the independence axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 304-318, December.
    3. Daniels, Richard L & Keller, L Robin, 1990. "An Experimental Evaluation of the Descriptive Validity of Lottery-Dependent Utility Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 115-134, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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    1. Recursive Macroeconomic Theory

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