Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Reassessment of Conventional Wisdom
The response of aggregate labor supply to various changes in the economic environment is central to many economic issues, especially the optimal design of tax policies. Conventional wisdom based on studies in the 1980s and 1990s has long held that the analysis of micro data leads one to conclude that aggregate labor supply elasticities are quite small. In this paper we argue that this conventional wisdom does not hold up to empirically reasonable and relevant extensions of simple life cycle models that served as the basis for these conclusions. In particular, we show that several pieces of conventional wisdom fail in the presence of human capital accumulation or labor supply decisions that allow for adjustment along both the extensive and intensive margin. We conclude that previous estimates of small labor supply elasticities based on micro data are fully consistent with large aggregate labor supply elasticities. (JEL D91, E24, J22)
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/journal|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
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.:
- David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006.
"The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
- Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
- David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2001. "Matlab code for The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," QM&RBC Codes 55, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Eric French, 2005. "The Effects of Health, Wealth, and Wages on Labour Supply and Retirement Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 395-427.
- Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
- Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hamish Low, 2005. "Self-Insurance in a Life-Cycle Model of Labor Supply and Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 945-975, October.
- Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2006. "From Individual To Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based On A Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, 02.
- Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2003. "From Individual to Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based on a Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy," Macroeconomics 0307003, EconWPA.
- Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2003. "From individual to aggregate labor supply : a quantitative analysis based on a heterogeneous agent macroeconomy," Working Paper 03-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- 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 503-543, May.
- Edward C. Prescott & Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2009. "Lifetime Aggregate Labor Supply with Endogenous Workweek Length," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 23-36, January.
- Edward C. Prescott & Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Lifetime aggregate labor supply with endogenous workweek length," Staff Report 400, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- 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 1059-1085, December.
- Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-121, May.
- Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim & Kyooho Kwon & Richard Rogerson, 2011. "Interpreting Labor Supply Regressions in a Model of Full- and Part-Time Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 476-481, May.
- Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim & Kyooho Kwon & Richard Rogerson, 2011. "Interpreting Labor Supply Regressions in a Model of Full and Part-Time Work," RCER Working Papers 560, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
- Michael Keane, 2010. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Working Paper Series 160, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
- 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 176-215, June.
- Richard Rogerson, 2011. "Individual and Aggregate Labor Supply with Coordinated Working Times," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 7-37, August.
- Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Individual and Aggregate Labor Supply With Coordinated Working Times," NBER Working Papers 16636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:50:y:2012:i:2:p:464-76. 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: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
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.