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The demand for labor in the long run

In: Handbook of Labor Economics

Listed author(s):
  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

The theory of the demand for labor is presented along with a catalog and critique of methods that are used to estimate the parameters that describe empirical labor-demand and substitution possibilities. A critical survey is presented of studies of own-price demand elasticities for labor as a whole and for workers categorized by demographic group, of substitution parameters among workers of different types, and of workers for capital. The main findings are: 1) The long-run constant-output demand elasticity for labor that istreated as homogeneous is between .15 and .5; 2) Own-price demand elasticities are higher for workers that have less general human capital embodied and them; 3) Skilled labor and physical capital are p-complements; and 4) More tentatively, youths and wornenare q-substitutes in production. The implications and importance for policy of these and other results are discussed. Suggestions for improving the literature and narrowing the range of knowledge of the underlying parameters, especially by concentrating more on disaggregated and even microeconornic data, are presented.

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This chapter was published in:
  • O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), 1987. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
  • This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Labor Economics with number 1-08.
    Handle: RePEc:eee:labchp:1-08
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

    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.:

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    1. Sato, Ryuzo & Koizumi, Tetsunori, 1973. "On the Elasticities of Substitution and Complementarity," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 44-56, March.
    2. Rosen, Harvey S & Quandt, Richard E, 1978. "Estimation of a Disequilibrium Aggregate Labor Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(3), pages 371-379, August.
    3. Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel, 1978. "Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications (I): The Theory of Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number fuss1978.
    4. Schott, Kerry, 1978. "The Relations between Industrial Research and Development and Factor Demands," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(349), pages 85-106, March.
    5. Morrison, C. J. & Berndt, E. R., 1981. "Short-run labor productivity in a dynamic model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 339-365, August.
    6. James H. Grant & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1980. "Labor Market Competition among Youths, White Women, and Others," NBER Working Papers 0519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Coen, Robert M & Hickman, Bert G, 1970. "Constrained Joint Estimation of Factor Demand and Production Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(3), pages 287-300, August.
    8. Kim B. Clark & Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "How Elastic is The Demand for Labor?," NBER Working Papers 0309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Freeman, Richard B & Medoff, James L, 1982. "Substitution between Production Labor and Other Inputs in Unionized and Nonunionized Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 220-233, May.
    10. Black, Stanley W & Kelejian, H H, 1970. "A Macro Model of the U. S. Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(5), pages 712-741, September.
    11. William J. Merrilees, 1982. "Labour Market Segmentation in Canada: An Econometric Approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 458-473, August.
    12. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
    13. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:11:y:1976:i:4:p:507-525 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Kesselman, Jonathan R & Williamson, Samuel H & Berndt, Ernst R, 1977. "Tax Credits for Employment Rather Than Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 339-349, June.
    16. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
    17. Mark C. Berger, 1983. "Changes in Labor Force Composition and Male Earnings: A Production Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(2), pages 177-196.
    18. Magnus, Jan R, 1979. "Substitution between Energy and Non-Energy Inputs in the Netherlands, 1950-1976," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 465-484, June.
    19. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-468, November.
    20. Dennis, Enid & Smith, V Kerry, 1978. "A Neoclassical Analysis of the Demand for Real Cash Balances by Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 793-813, October.
    21. Tinsley, P A, 1971. "A Variable Adjustment Model of Labor Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 12(3), pages 482-510, October.
    22. Magnus, J.R., 1979. "Substitution between energy and non-energy inputs in the Netherlands, 1950-1976," Other publications TiSEM eef7f886-58db-4162-a57f-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    23. Sato, Ryuzo, 1977. "Homothetic and Non-Homothetic CES Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 559-569, September.
    24. Sosin, Kim H & Fairchild, Loretta G, 1984. "Nonhomotheticity and Technological Bias in Production," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 44-50, February.
    25. Grossman, Jean Baldwin, 1982. "The Substitutability of Natives and Immigrants in Production," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 596-603, November.
    26. Denny, Michael & Fuss, Melvyn A, 1977. "The Use of Approximation Analysis to Test for Separability and the Existence of Consistent Aggregates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, June.
    27. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:4:y:1969:i:3:p:311-327 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Berndt, Ernst R & Khaled, Mohammed S, 1979. "Parametric Productivity Measurement and Choice among Flexible Functional Forms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1220-1245, December.
    29. Pindyck, Robert S, 1979. "Interfuel Substitution and the Industrial Demand for Energy: An International Comparison," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 169-179, May.
    30. Sherwin Rosen, 1983. "A Note on Aggregation of Skills and Labor Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 425-431.
    31. Roger N. Waud, 1968. "Man-Hour Behavior in U.S. Manufacturing: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 407-407.
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