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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
    DOI: 10.1086/599022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    6. 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.
    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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