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The elasticity of labor supply to the firm over the business cycle

  • Depew, Briggs
  • Sørensen, Todd A.

Recent empirical work has found evidence that the elasticity of labor supply to individual firms is finite, implying that firms may have wage setting power. However, these studies capture only single snapshots of the elasticity. We are the first to study how the elasticity of labor supply to the firm changes between economic contractions and economic expansions. We study two manufacturing firms operating in geographically distinct labor markets during the volatile inter-war period. Our analysis suggests that the elasticity of labor supply to the firm is lower during recessions than during expansions, providing evidence of differential wage setting power over the business cycle. This differential wage setting ability provides an explanation of the pro-cyclicality of real wages.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537113000845
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 196-204

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:24:y:2013:i:c:p:196-204
DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.08.005
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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