IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Steady-State Labor Supply Elasticities: An International Comparison

  • Olivier Bargain


    (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS, and IZA)

  • Andreas Peichl


    (IZA, U. of Cologne, CESifo and ISER)

This note provides an extensive survey of studies estimating steady-state labor supply elasticities for Western Europe and the US. Differences are driven by the heterogeneity in work preferences across countries and by methodological difference across studies (data, selection or model estimation and specification). While the former exists but is shown to be relatively small (Bargain et al., 2013), we focus here on modeling choices: Large elasticities are mainly found in studies estimated in the 1980s and relying on the Hausman approach. More recent estimates based on discrete-choice models with tax-benefit simulations show smaller and more similar estimates across countries. While we confirm that elasticities decline over time in the US, there is some evidence that both time effect and modeling choices affect estimates for Europe.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1322.

in new window

Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1322
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. van Soest, A.H.O. & Woittiez, I.B. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1989. "Labour supply, income taxes and hours restrictions in the Netherlands," Discussion Paper 1989-3, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. M Arellano & Costas Megir & Mary Silles, 1990. "Female Labour Supply and On-the-Job Search: An Empirical Model Estimated using Complementary Data Sets," CEP Discussion Papers dp0009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Dearing, Helene & Hofer, Helmut & Lietz, Christine & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2007. "Why Are Mothers Working Longer Hours in Austria than in Germany? A Comparative Micro Simulation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 2845, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Lone Mothers' Employment and Full-Time Work Probabilities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 310-20, March.
  5. M. Keane & R. Moffitt, . "A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1080-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  6. Lemieux, Thomas & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Incentive effects of social assistance: A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 807-828, February.
  7. Soren Blomquist & Whitney Newey, 2002. "Nonparametric Estimation with Nonlinear Budget Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2455-2480, November.
  8. MaCurdy, Thomas, 1992. "Work Disincentive Effects of Taxes: A Reexamination of Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 243-49, May.
  9. Flood, Lennart & Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 1999. "Household Labor Supply and Welfare Participation in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 18, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 44-64, Supplemen.
  11. Kapteyn, A. & Soest, A.V. & Woittiez, I., 1989. "Labour Supply, Income Taxes And Hours Restrictions In The Netherlands," Papers 8903, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  12. Hausman, Jerry & Ruud, Paul, 1984. "Family Labor Supply with Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 242-48, May.
  13. Thomas MaCurdy & David Green & Harry Paarsch, 1990. "Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 415-490.
  14. François Bourguignon & Thierry Magnac, 1990. "Labor Supply and Taxation in France," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 358-389.
  15. 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.
  16. Blomquist, N. Soren, 1983. "The effect of income taxation on the labor supply of married men in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 169-197, November.
  17. Laura Crespo, 2005. "Estimation And Testing Of Household Labour Supply Models: Evidence From Spain," Working Papers. Serie AD 2005-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  18. Philippe Choné & David le Blanc & Isabelle Robert-Bobée, 2003. "Female Labor Supply and Child Care in France," CESifo Working Paper Series 1059, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Blundell, Richard & Walker, Ian, 1986. "A Life-Cycle Consistent Empirical Model of Family Labour Supply Using Cross-Section Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 539-58, August.
  20. Elena Stancanelli, 2007. "Evaluating the impact of the French tax credit on the employment rate of women," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-33, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  21. Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Strom, Steinar, 1999. "Labour Supply in Italy: An Empirical Analysis of Joint Household Decisions, with Taxes and Quantity Constraints," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 403-22, July-Aug..
  22. Olivier Donni & Nicolas Moreau, 2007. "Collective Labor Supply: A Single-Equation Model and Some Evidence from French Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  23. 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.
  24. repec:fda:fdaddt:2005-14 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Victor R. Fuchs & Alan B. Krueger & James M. Poterba, 1998. "Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1387-1425, September.
  26. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
  27. Kristian Orsini, 2006. "Tax-benefits reforms and the labor market: evidence from Belgium and other EU countries," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0606, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  28. Bruce D. Meyer & Bradley T. Heim, 2004. "Structural Labor Supply Models when Budget Constraints are Nonlinear," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 567, Econometric Society.
  29. John Pencavel, 1998. "The Market Work Behavior and Wages of Women: 1975-94," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 771-804.
  30. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives: A Microsimulation Study for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 421, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  31. José M. Labeaga & Xisco Oliver & Amadéo Spadaro, 2005. "Discrete choice models of labour suppluy, behavioural microsimulation and the Spanish tax reform," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590836, HAL.
  32. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino & Steinar Strøm, 2004. "Do more equal slices shrink the cake? An empirical investigation of tax-transfer reform proposals in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 767-785, December.
  33. Bradley T. Heim, 2009. "Structural Estimation of Family Labor Supply with Taxes: Estimating a Continuous Hours Model Using a Direct Utility Specification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  34. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
  35. van Soest, A.H.O. & Das, J.W.M. & Gong, X., 2000. "A Structural Labor Supply Model with Nonparametric Preferences," Discussion Paper 2000-60, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  36. Anna Brink & Katarina Nordblom & Roger Wahlberg, 2007. "Maximum fee versus child benefit: a welfare analysis of Swedish child-care fee reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 457-480, August.
  37. Blundell, Richard & Duncan, Alan & Meghir, Costas, 1992. "Taxation in Empirical Labour Supply Models: Lone Mothers in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 265-78, March.
  38. Bradley T. Heim, 2007. "The Incredible Shrinking Elasticities: Married Female Labor Supply, 1978–2002," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  39. 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.
  40. Clément Carbonnier, 2008. "Spouse labor supply: fiscal incentive and income effect,evidence from French fully joint income tax system," THEMA Working Papers 2008-20, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  41. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  42. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  43. Michiel Evers & Ruud Mooij & Daniel Vuuren, 2008. "The Wage Elasticity of Labour Supply: A Synthesis of Empirical Estimates," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 25-43, March.
  44. N. S. Blomquist & U. Hansson-Brusewitz, 1990. "The Effect of Taxes on Male and Female Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 317-357.
  45. Tim Callan & Arthur van Soest & John R. Walsh, 2009. "Tax Structure and Female Labour Supply: Evidence from Ireland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(1), pages 1-35, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1322. 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: (Yves Doazan)

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.