IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Labor supply and aggregate fluctuations


  • Hall, Robert E.


Issues of labor supply are at the heart of macroeconomic explanations of the large cyclical fluctuations of output observed in modern economies. This paper starts with a serious empirical examination of the view that the labor market is always in balance-that every observed combination of employment and compensation is a point of intersection of the relevant supply and demand curves. I will call this the "intertemporal substitution" model of fluctuations. According to this model, workers are willing to shift their hours of work from one year to another in response to modest shifts in relative wages. The paper goes on to point out a strong implication of the pure inter- temporal substitution model, namely, the irrelevance of changes in the money supply for the labor supply function. A model where markets clear instantly ought to obey full monetary neutrality. The data refute this implication absolutely unambiguously. The money stock unambiguously shifts the labor supply function. The pure substitution model seems untenable in the light of this evidence. The paper then turns to explanations of the nonneutrality of money in the short run. According to the most carefully worked out line of thought, monetary shocks cause workers to make inappropriate intertemporal shifts in labor supply, because they lack complete information about the source of aggregate shocks and are forced to respond in the same way to real and nominal disturbances. Finally, the paper turns to the view that, in the short run, labor supply is largely irrelevant to the determination of aggregate employment.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Hall, Robert E., 1980. "Labor supply and aggregate fluctuations," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 7-33, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:crcspp:v:12:y:1980:i::p:7-33

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
    2. Barro, Robert J. & Fischer, Stanley, 1976. "Recent developments in monetary theory," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 133-167, April.
    3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1975. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1113-1144, December.
    4. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-754, Sept./Oct.
    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:eee:crcspp:v:12:y:1980:i::p:7-33. 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: (Haili He). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.