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Labor demand research: Toward a better match between better theory and better data

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  • Addison, John T.
  • Portugal, Pedro
  • Varejão, José

Abstract

At first blush, most advances in labor demand were achieved by the late 1980s. Since then progress might appear to have stalled. We argue to the contrary that significant progress has been made in understanding labor market frictions and imperfections, and in modeling search behavior and heterogeneous preferences. Perhaps most notable have been the improvements in data, in the form of longitudinal matched employer–employee data, and in techniques and algorithms (e.g. for solving heterogeneous parameter models). In short, the Cinderella status of the field is frankly overdrawn. Nevertheless, a chief lacuna remains the need for a better match between theory and data. This paper provides a critical albeit eclectic assessment of these developments, along the dimensions of the static and dynamic theory of labor demand, wage formation, and estimation, noting advances and limitations. As is conventional, somewhat greater emphasis is placed on the latter.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro & Varejão, José, 2014. "Labor demand research: Toward a better match between better theory and better data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 4-11.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:30:y:2014:i:c:p:4-11
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2014.06.002
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    10. Guimaraes, Paulo & Martins, Fernando & Portugal, Pedro, 2017. "Upward Nominal Wage Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 10510, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor demand; Input heterogeneity; Labor adjustment costs; Wage and employment determination; Multiple fixed effects; Establishment-level functions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design

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