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Work costs and nonconvex preferences in the estimation of labor supply models

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  • Heim, Bradley T.
  • Meyer, Bruce D.

Abstract

We first critique the manner in which work costs have been introduced into labor supply estimation, and note the difficulty of incorporating a realistic rendering of the costs of work. We then show that, if work costs are not accounted for in the budget and time constraints in a structural labor supply model, they will be subsumed into the data generating preferences. We show that even if underlying preferences over consumption and leisure are convex, the presence of unobservable work costs can make these preferences appear nonconvex. Absent strong functional form assumptions, these work costs are not identified in data commonly used for labor supply estimation. However, we show that even if work costs cannot be separately identified, under plausible conditions, policy relevant calculations such as estimates of the effect of tax changes on labor supply and deadweight loss calculations, are not affected by the fact that estimated preferences incorporate work costs.
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  • Heim, Bradley T. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2004. "Work costs and nonconvex preferences in the estimation of labor supply models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2323-2338, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:11:p:2323-2338
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    3. Nicole Bosch & Miriam Gielen & Egbert Jongen & Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB & voorheen CPB), 2013. "A structural analysis of labour supply elasticities in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 235, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. Olivier Bargain, 2004. "On modeling household labor supply with taxation," DELTA Working Papers 2004-14, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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    6. Heim, Bradley T. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2004. "Work costs and nonconvex preferences in the estimation of labor supply models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2323-2338, September.
    7. Nicole Bosch & Miriam Gielen & Egbert Jongen & Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB & voorheen CPB), 2013. "A structural analysis of labour supply elasticities in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 235.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    8. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Tax-Benefit Systems in Europe and the US: Between Equity and Efficiency," CESifo Working Paper Series 3534, CESifo.
    9. Olivier Bargain & Kristian Orsini & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results," Working Papers halshs-00805736, HAL.
    10. Anil Kumar, 2012. "Nonparametric estimation of the impact of taxes on female labor supply," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 415-439, April.
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    12. Olivier Bargain & Kristian Orsini & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the United States: New Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 723-838.
    13. Olmstead, Sheila M. & Hanemann, W. Michael & Stavins, Robert N., 2005. "Do Consumers React to the Shape of Supply? Water Demand under Heterogeneous Price Structures," Discussion Papers 10672, Resources for the Future.
    14. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006. "The marginal cost of public funds: Hours of work versus labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1955-1973, November.
    15. David W. Carter & J. Walter Milon, 2005. "Price Knowledge in Household Demand for Utility Services," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(2).
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    17. Blundell, Richard, 2006. "Earned income tax credit policies: Impact and optimality: The Adam Smith Lecture, 2005," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 423-443, August.
    18. Olivier Bargain & Andreas Peichl, 2016. "Own-wage labor supply elasticities: variation across time and estimation methods," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, December.
    19. de Muizon, Marc Jourdain, 2018. "Why do married women work less in the UK than in France?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 86-96.
    20. Anil Kumar & Che-Yuan Liang, 2015. "Declining female labor supply elasticities in the U.S. and implications for tax policy: evidence from panel data," Working Papers 1501, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    21. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
    22. Godoey, Anna & Reich, Michael & Allegretto, Sylvia, 2019. "Parental Labor Supply: Evidence from Minimum Wage Changes. Working Paper #103-19," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt1f66h44t, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    23. Savage, Scott James & Waldman, Donald M., 2009. "Ability, location and household demand for Internet bandwidth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 166-174, March.
    24. Bastian, Jacob E. & Jones, Maggie R., 2021. "Do EITC expansions pay for themselves? Effects on tax revenue and government transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    25. Black, Dan A. & Kolesnikova, Natalia & Taylor, Lowell J., 2014. "Why do so few women work in New York (and so many in Minneapolis)? Labor supply of married women across US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 59-71.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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