IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/moneco/v59y2012i1p40-56.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Aggregate hours worked in OECD countries: New measurement and implications for business cycles

Author

Listed:
  • Ohanian, Lee E.
  • Raffo, Andrea

Abstract

We build a dataset of quarterly hours worked for 14 OECD countries. We document that hours are as volatile as output, that a large fraction of labor adjustment takes place along the intensive margin, and that the volatility of hours relative to output has increased over time. We use these data to reassess the Great Recession and prior recessions. The Great Recession in many countries is a puzzle in that labor wedges are small, while those in the U.S. Great Recession – and those in previous European recessions – are much larger.

Suggested Citation

  • Ohanian, Lee E. & Raffo, Andrea, 2012. "Aggregate hours worked in OECD countries: New measurement and implications for business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 40-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:59:y:2012:i:1:p:40-56
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2011.11.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304393211001139
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jmoneco.2011.11.005?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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

    as
    1. Zvi Hercowitz & Jeffrey C. Campbell, 2005. "The Role of Collateralized Household Debt in Macroeconomic Stabilization," 2005 Meeting Papers 120, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    3. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Accounting for the Great Depression (technical appendix)," Working Papers 619, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Understanding Differences in Hours Worked," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 365-409, July.
    5. Fabrizio Perri & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2018. "International Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(4-5), pages 935-984, April.
    6. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    7. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    8. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-1187, December.
    9. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
    10. Ohanian, Lee & Raffo, Andrea & Rogerson, Richard, 2008. "Long-term changes in labor supply and taxes: Evidence from OECD countries, 1956-2004," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1353-1362, November.
    11. Lei Fang & Richard Rogerson, 2009. "Policy Analysis In A Matching Model With Intensive And Extensive Margins," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1153-1168, November.
    12. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
    13. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 223-250, January.
    14. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Galí, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    16. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2002. "The U.S. and U.K. Great Depressions Through the Lens of Neoclassical Growth Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 28-32, May.
    17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    18. Robert Shimer, 2009. "Convergence in Macroeconomics: The Labor Wedge," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 280-297, January.
    19. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "Current Real-Business-Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 430-450, June.
    20. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2011. "What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 273-335.
    21. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2007. "Business Cycle Accounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 781-836, May.
    22. Andres Arias & Gary Hansen & Lee Ohanian, 2007. "Why have business cycle fluctuations become less volatile?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(1), pages 43-58, July.
    23. Iacoviello, Matteo & Pavan, Marina, 2013. "Housing and debt over the life cycle and over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 221-238.
    24. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2011. "Labor Market Dysfunction During the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 17313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Cooley, Thomas F. & Ohanian, Lee E., 1991. "The cyclical behavior of prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 25-60, August.
    26. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2006. "Comparing alternative representations and alternative methodologies in business cycle accounting," Working Papers 647, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    27. Mary O'Mahony & Marcel P. Timmer, 2009. "Output, Input and Productivity Measures at the Industry Level: The EU KLEMS Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages 374-403, June.
    28. Cho, Jang-Ok & Cooley, Thomas F., 1994. "Employment and hours over the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 411-432, March.
    29. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
    30. Robert Shimer, 2010. "Labor Markets and Business Cycles," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9217.
    31. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Accounting for the Great Depression," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 27(Spr), pages 2-8.
    32. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Lee Ohanian, 2010. "The Spanish Crisis from a Global Perspective," Working Papers 2010-03, FEDEA.
    33. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-775, August.
    34. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    35. Robert Shimer, 2010. "The Labor Wedge," Introductory Chapters, in: Labor Markets and Business Cycles, Princeton University Press.
    36. Raffo, Andrea, 2008. "Net exports, consumption volatility and international business cycle models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 14-29, May.
    37. Casey B. Mulligan, 2008. "A Depressing Scenario: Mortgage Debt Becomes Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 14514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Yan Bai & Patrick Kehoe & Cristina Arellano, 2011. "Financial Markets and Fluctuations in Uncertainty," 2011 Meeting Papers 896, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    39. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    40. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    41. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Productivity and unemployment over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1013-1025, November.
    42. Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "The Economic Crisis from a Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 45-66, Fall.
    43. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 281-323, April.
    44. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hansen, G.D. & Ohanian, L.E., 2016. "Neoclassical Models in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2043-2130, Elsevier.
    2. Gonzalo Llosa & Lee Ohanian & Andrea Raffo & Richard Rogerson, 2014. "Firing Costs and Labor Market Fluctuations: A Cross-Country Analysis," 2014 Meeting Papers 533, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Andrei Polbin & Sergey Drobyshevsky, 2014. "Developing a Dynamic Stochastic Model of General Equilibrium for the Russian Economy," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 166P, pages 156-156.
    4. Maarten Dossche & Andrea Gavazzi & Vivien Lewis, . "Labor Adjustment and Productivity in the OECD," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Eusepi, Stefano & Preston, Bruce, 2015. "Consumption heterogeneity, employment dynamics and macroeconomic co-movement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 13-32.
    6. Maarten Dossche & Andrea Gavazzi & Vivien Lewis, . "Labor Adjustment and Productivity in the OECD," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2010. "Labor wedges and open economy puzzles," MPRA Paper 31370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Andres Arias & Gary Hansen & Lee Ohanian, 2007. "Why have business cycle fluctuations become less volatile?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(1), pages 43-58, July.
    9. Epstein, Brendan & Mukherjee, Rahul & Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan & Ramnath, Shanthi, 2020. "Trends in aggregate employment, hours worked per worker, and the long-run labor wedge," MPRA Paper 99289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Özer Karagedikli & Troy Matheson & Christie Smith & Shaun P. Vahey, 2010. "RBCs AND DSGEs: THE COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH TO BUSINESS CYCLE THEORY AND EVIDENCE," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 113-136, February.
    11. Brinca, Pedro, 2014. "Distortions in the neoclassical growth model: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-19.
    12. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    13. Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "The Economic Crisis from a Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 45-66, Fall.
    14. Gary D. Hansen, "undated". "Why Have Business Cycle Fluctuations Become Less Volatile? (with Andres Arias and Lee E. Ohanian)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 416, UCLA Department of Economics.
    15. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    16. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2009. "Labor Supply Heterogeneity and Macroeconomic Co-movement," NBER Working Papers 15561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Stephen Millard & Andrew Scott & Marianne Sensier, 1999. "Business cycles and the labour market can theory fit the facts?," Bank of England working papers 93, Bank of England.
    18. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & McGrattan, Ellen R., 2008. "Are structural VARs with long-run restrictions useful in developing business cycle theory?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1337-1352, November.
    19. Clarke, Andrew J. & Johri, Alok, 2009. "Procyclical Solow Residuals Without Technology Shocks," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 366-389, June.
    20. Murat Tasci & Andrea Pescatori, 2011. "Search Frictions and the Labor Wedge," 2011 Meeting Papers 371, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:moneco:v:59:y:2012:i:1:p:40-56. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566 .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566 .

    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.