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Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor

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  • Robert E. Hall

Abstract

Recessions appear to be times when the marginal rate of substitution between goods and workers' time falls below the marginal product of labor. If so, the allocation of workers' time is inefficient. I develop a model of households and production that reconciles cyclical movements in the marginal value of time and the marginal product. The model embodies the findings of research that the Frisch elasticity of labor supply is less than one. It treats unemployment in a search-and-matching setup. Recessions do not result in private inefficiency in the allocation of labor, but the unemployment rate may be socially inefficiently high. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:117:y:2009:i:2:p:281-323
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fisher, Jonathan D. & Johnson, David S. & Marchand, Joseph & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Torrey, Barbara Boyle, 2008. "The retirement consumption conundrum: Evidence from a consumption survey," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 482-485, June.
    2. Bjoern Bruegemann & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2010. "Rent Rigidity, Asymmetric Information, and Volatility Bounds in Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 575-596, July.
    3. Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2001. "Estimating the Effect of Unearned Income on Labor Earnings, Savings, and Consumption: Evidence from a Survey of Lottery Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 778-794, September.
    4. Alma Cohen & Liran Einav, 2007. "Estimating Risk Preferences from Deductible Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 745-788, June.
    5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-262, April.
    6. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    7. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-543, May.
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