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Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: A Meta-Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Ali Elminejad

    (Charles University)

  • Tomas Havranek

    (Charles University)

  • Roman Horvath

    (Charles University)

  • Zuzana Irsova

    (Charles University)

Abstract

The intertemporal substitution (Frisch) elasticity of labor supply governs how structural models predict changes in people's willingness to work in response to changes in economic conditions or government fiscal policy. We show that the mean reported estimates of the elasticity are exaggerated due to publication bias. For both the intensive and extensive margins the literature provides over 700 estimates, with a mean of 0.5 in both cases. Correcting for publication bias and emphasizing quasi-experimental evidence reduces the mean intensive margin elasticity to 0.2 and renders the extensive margin elasticity tiny. A total hours elasticity of about 0.25 is the most consistent with empirical evidence. To trace the differences in reported elasticities to differences in estimation context, we collect 23 variables reflecting study design and employ Bayesian and frequentist model averaging to address model uncertainty. On both margins the elasticity is systematically larger for women and workers near retirement, but not enough to support a total hours elasticity above 0.5. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Ali Elminejad & Tomas Havranek & Roman Horvath & Zuzana Irsova, 2023. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: A Meta-Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 1095-1113, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:23-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2023.10.001
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    Keywords

    Frisch elasticity; Labor supply; Meta-analysis; Publication bias; Bayesian model averaging;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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