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Long-run trends in labor supply


  • Brian Motley


The recent "benign" combination of strong output growth and low inflation has led to speculation that the potential growth rate of real GDP has increased. This paper examines trends in labor supply to see whether this source of GDP growth might have accelerated. Discussions of labor supply often focus on labor force participation. But other considerations--such as the length of the workweek, the amount of time spent away from work and the demographic structure of the population--also have been important in causing trend shifts in labor supply. My analysis suggests that no significant increase in the growth rate of any of these dimensions of labor supply is likely in the near future. So if potential GDP is to accelerate, this must come from faster productivity growth.

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  • Brian Motley, 1997. "Long-run trends in labor supply," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 22-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1997:p:22-33:n:3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barry Bosworth & Gary Burtless, 1992. "Effects of Tax Reform on Labor Supply, Investment, and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 3-25, Winter.
    2. John P. Judd & Bharat Trehan, 1990. "Working harder?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jun22.
    3. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael P, 1985. "Time-Series Growth in the Female Labor Force," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 59-90, January.
    4. Mary C. Daly, 1997. "Labor market effects of welfare reform," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue aug29.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ireland, Peter N., 2004. "A method for taking models to the data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1205-1226, March.

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    Labor supply ; Gross domestic product;


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