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On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes

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  • Abowd, John M
  • Card, David

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical analysis of individual earnings and hours data from three different longitudinal surveys. In the first part of the paper, the authors catalog the main features of the covariance structure of earnings and hours changes. In the second part of the paper, they offer an interpretation of this model in terms of a simple life-cycle, labor-supply model. On the assumption that they can identify individual productivity growth with the shared component of earnings and hours variation, the authors obtain estimates of the intertemporal substitution elasticity. The results are not favorable to the life-cycle model: most of the covariation of earnings occurs at fixed hourly wage rates. Copyright 1989 by The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:57:y:1989:i:2:p:411-45
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01gt54kn026 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. John M. Abowd & Orley C. Ashenfelter, 1981. "Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs, and Compensating Wage Differentials," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 141-170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    5. 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.
    6. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 11-44, August.
    7. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1984. "Intertemporal Labor Supply in the Presence of Long Term Contracts," Working Papers 546, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. 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.
    9. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ghez75-1.
    10. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "Optimal Labour Contracts under Asymmetric Information: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 3-35.
    11. Hause, John C, 1980. "The Fine Structure of Earnings and the On-the-Job Training Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1013-1029, May.
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