IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Complete Characterization Of The Inverted S-Shaped Labor Supply Curve


  • Tamotsu Nakamura
  • Yu Murayama


Empirical evidence suggests that labor supply curves are downward sloping at low wage levels, i.e. 'forward-falling labor supply'. In contrast, the supply curve is only downward sloping at high wage levels in the canonical labor supply model, i.e. 'backward-bending'. This paper derives a labor supply curve with both forward-falling and backward-bending segments, or an 'inverted S-shape' by incorporating two elements into a standard utility function: a subsistence level of consumption and a decreasing elasticity of substitution. It is also shown that the subsistence level of consumption plays a key role in determining the shape of the labor supply curve. Copyright © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Tamotsu Nakamura & Yu Murayama, 2010. "A Complete Characterization Of The Inverted S-Shaped Labor Supply Curve," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 665-675, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:metroe:v:61:y:2010:i:4:p:665-675

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ward Romp & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Public Capital and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(s1), pages 6-52, April.
    2. Hafedh Bouakez & Nooman Rebei, 2007. "Why does private consumption rise after a government spending shock?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 954-979, August.
    3. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
    4. Günter Coenen & Roland Straub, 2005. "Does Government Spending Crowd in Private Consumption? Theory and Empirical Evidence for the Euro Area," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 435-470, December.
    5. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
    6. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2004. "Can fiscal spending stimulate private consumption?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 173-179, February.
    7. Linnemann, Ludger & Schabert, Andreas, 2003. " Fiscal Policy in the New Neoclassical Synthesis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 911-929, December.
    8. Roberto Perotti, 2008. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 169-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marc Lavoie, 2006. "A Post-Keynesian Amendment To The New Consensus On Monetary Policy," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 165-192, May.
    10. Yum K. Kwan, 2006. "The Direct Substitution Between Government and Private Consumption in East Asia," NBER Working Papers 12431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Consumption and Employment: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Robert A. Amano & Tony S. Wirjanto, 1998. "Government Expenditures and the Permanent-Income Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 719-730, July.
    13. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
    14. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
    15. Tenhofen Jörn & Wolff Guntram B. & Heppke-Falk Kirsten H., 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Exogenous Fiscal Policy Shocks in Germany: A Disaggregated SVAR Analysis," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(3), pages 328-355, June.
    16. Ramey, Valerie A. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1998. "Costly capital reallocation and the effects of government spending," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 145-194, June.
    17. Karras, Georgios, 1997. "On the Optimal Government Size in Europe: Theory and Empirical Evidence," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 65(3), pages 280-294, June.
    18. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
    19. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, March.
    21. Ni, Shawn, 1995. "An empirical analysis on the substitutability between private consumption and government purchases," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 593-605, December.
    22. Perotti, Roberto, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    23. Roberto Perotti, 2005. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    24. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:metroe:v:61:y:2010:i:4:p:665-675. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.