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The Hausman-MaCurdy Controversy: Why Do the Results Differ across Studies?

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  • Matias Eklöf
  • Hans Sacklén

Abstract

The two perhaps most influential empirical labor supply studies carried out in the United States in recent years, Hausman (1981) and MaCurdy, Green, and Paarsch (1990), report sharply contradicting labor supply estimates. In this paper we show that the seemingly irreconcilable views on the size of work disincentive effects and welfare losses can be attributed to the use of differing nonlabor income and wage measures in the two studies. Monte Carlo experiments suggest that the wage measure adopted by MaCurdy, Green, and Paarsch (1990) might cause a severely downward biased wage effect such that data falsely refute the basic notion of utility maximization.

Suggested Citation

  • Matias Eklöf & Hans Sacklén, 2000. "The Hausman-MaCurdy Controversy: Why Do the Results Differ across Studies?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 204-220.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:35:y:2000:i:1:p:204-220
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    Cited by:

    1. Sören Blomquist & Whitney K. Newey, 2017. "The Bunching Estimator Cannot Identify the Taxable Income Elasticity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6736, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
    3. Kumar, Anil & Liang, Che-Yung, 2015. "Declining female labor supply elasticities in the U.S. and implications for tax policy: evidence from panel data," Working Papers 1501, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    4. Anil Kumar, 2016. "Lifecycle-consistent female labor supply with nonlinear taxes: evidence from unobserved effects panel data models with censoring, selection and endogeneity," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 207-229, March.
    5. Olivier Bargain & Kristian Orsini & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the United States: New Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 723-838.
    6. Andrew Grodner & Thomas Kniesner, 2005. "Labor Supply with Social Interactions: Econometric Estimates and Their Tax Policy Implications," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 69, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

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