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A Shred of Credible Evidence on the Long-run Elasticity of Labour Supply

  • ORLEY ASHENFELTER
  • KIRK DORAN
  • BRUCE SCHALLER

All public policies regarding taxation and the redistribution of income rely on assumptions about the long-run effect of wages rates on labour supply. The variation in existing estimates calls for a simple, natural experiment in which men can change their hours of work, and in which wages have been exogenously and permanently changed. We use a panel dataset of taxi drivers who choose their own hours, and who experienced two exogenous permanent fare increases, and estimate an elasticity of labour supply of - 0.2, implying that income effects dominate substitution effects in the long-run labour supply of males. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2010.

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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 308 (October)
Pages: 637-650

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:77:y:2010:i:308:p:637-650
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  1. Altonji, Joseph G & Paxson, Christina H, 1988. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Trade-Offs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 254-76, April.
  2. G. Burtless & J. A. Hausman, 1977. "The Effect of Taxation on Labor Supply: Evaluating the Gary Negative Income Tax Experiment," Working papers 211, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  4. Blundell, Richard William & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  6. Ham, John C, 1982. "Estimation of a Labour Supply Model with Censoring Due to Unemployment and Underemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 335-54, July.
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