IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities

  • Raj Chetty
  • Adam Guren
  • Day Manoli
  • Andrea Weber

Macroeconomic calibrations imply much larger labor supply elasticities than microeconometric studies. The most well known explanation for this divergence is that indivisible labor generates extensive margin responses that are not captured in micro studies of hours choices. We evaluate whether existing calibrations of macro models are consistent with micro evidence on extensive margin responses using two approaches. First, we use a standard calibrated macro model to simulate the impacts of tax policy changes on labor supply. Second, we present a meta-analysis of quasi-experimental estimates of extensive margin elasticities. We find that micro estimates are consistent with macro evidence on the steady-state (Hicksian) elasticities relevant for cross-country comparisons. However, micro estimates of extensive-margin elasticities are an order of magnitude smaller than the values needed to explain business cycle fluctuations in aggregate hours. Hence, indivisible labor supply does not explain the large gap between micro and macro estimates of intertemporal substitution (Frisch) elasticities.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/669170
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/669170
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal NBER Macroeconomics Annual.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1 - 56

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:macann:doi:10.1086/669170
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/MA/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2007. "Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0722, European Central Bank.
  2. Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu, 2007. "The Young, the Old, and the Restless: Demographics and Business Cycle Volatility," Discussion Papers 07-010, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. Harald Uhlig & Mathias Trabandt, 2009. "How Far are We from the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," Working Papers 2009-005, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  4. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Bounds on Elasticities with Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 15616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Davis, Steven J. & Henrekson, Magnus, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 560, Stockholm School of Economics.
  6. Joshua Angrist, 1988. "Grouped Data Estimation and Testing in Simple Labor Supply Models," Working Papers 614, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Michael Keane, 2010. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Working Paper Series 160, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  8. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1993. "The Carnegie Conjecture: Some Empirical Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 413-35, May.
  9. Johanna Wallenius & Edward C. Prescott, 2011. "Aggregate labor supply," Staff Report 457, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2003. "From Individual to Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based on a Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy," Macroeconomics 0307003, EconWPA.
  11. Dayanand Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2010. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Policy Discontinuities," NRN working papers 2010-11, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  12. Michael Keane & Richard Rogers, 2012. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," Economics Series Working Papers 2012-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Bianchi, Marco & Gudmundsson, Björn R & Zoega, Gylfi, 2000. "Iceland's Natural Experiment in Supply-Side Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 2367, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Edward C. Prescott & Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Lifetime aggregate labor supply with endogenous workweek length," Staff Report 400, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. Luigi Pistaferri, 2003. "Anticipated and Unanticipated Wage Changes, Wage Risk, and Intertemporal Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 729-754, July.
  18. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Employment and Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1109, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-43, May.
  20. Cho, J-O. & Cooley, T.F., 1988. "Employment And Hours Over The Business Cycle," Papers 88-03, Rochester, Business - General.
  21. Alan J. Auerbach, 1982. "The Theory of Excess Burden and Optimal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Chetty, Nadarajan & Weber, Andrea & Guren, Adam Michael & Day, Manoli, 2011. "Are Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities Consistent? A Review of Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margins," Scholarly Articles 11878970, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Tore Olsen & Luigi Pistaferri, 2009. "Adjustment Costs, Firm Responses, and Micro vs. Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: Evidence from Danish Tax Records," NBER Working Papers 15617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  25. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  26. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
  27. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  28. Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
  29. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  30. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  31. Card, David, 1990. "Labor supply with a minimum hours threshold," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 137-168, January.
  32. Jerry A. Hausman, 1983. "Taxes and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 1102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Kimmel, Jean & Kniesner, Thomas J., 1998. "New evidence on labor supply:: Employment versus hours elasticities by sex and marital status," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 289-301, July.
  34. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  35. Brian A. Jacob & Jens Ludwig, 2008. "The Effects of Housing Assistance on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Voucher Lottery," NBER Working Papers 14570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
  37. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1995. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 5158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
  39. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  40. Karen E. Dynan, 2009. "Changing Household Financial Opportunities and Economic Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 49-68, Fall.
  41. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  42. Dayanand Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2011. "Nonparametric Evidence on the Effects of Retirement Benefits on Labor Force Participation Decisions," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2011-24, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2011.
  43. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633 Elsevier.
  44. Hamish Low, 2005. "Self-Insurance in a Life-Cycle Model of Labor Supply and Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 945-975, October.
  45. 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, 04.
  46. Casey B. Mulligan, 2001. "Aggregate Implications of Indivisible Labor," NBER Working Papers 8159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," NBER Working Papers 7491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
  49. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2011. "A Labor Supply Elasticity Accord?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 487-91, May.
  50. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1989. "Dynamic Labour Force Participation of Married Women and Endogenous Work Experience," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 375-90, July.
  51. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2009. "Comparative Advantage and Unemployment," RCER Working Papers 547, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  52. Heckman, James, 1984. "Comments on the Ashenfelter and Kydland papers," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 209-224, January.
  53. Sebastian Dyrda & Greg Kaplan & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2012. "Business Cycles and Household Formation: The Micro vs the Macro Labor Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 17880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Paul J. Devereux, 2004. "Changes in Relative Wages and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  55. Cho, Jang-Ok & Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Family labor supply and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 233-245.
  56. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:macann:doi:10.1086/669170. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.