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Aggregating Elasticities: Intensive and Extensive Margins of Female Labour Supply

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  • Attanasio, O.
  • Levell, P.
  • Low, H.
  • Sanchez-Marcos, V.

Abstract

We estimate labour supply elasticities at the micro level and show what we can learn from possibly very heterogeneous elasticities for aggregate behaviour. We consider both intertemporal and intratemporal choices, and identify intensive and extensive responses in a consistent life cycle framework, using US CEX data. There is substantial heterogeneity in how individuals respond to wage changes at all margins, both due to observables, such as age, demographics, and wealth, as well as to unobservable tastes for leisure. We estimate the distribution of Marshallian elasticities for hours worked to have a median value of 0.18, and corresponding Hicksian elasticities of 0.54 and Frisch elasticities of 0.87. At the 90th percentile, these values are 0.79, 1.16, and 1.92. Responses at the extensive margin are important, explaining about 54% of the total labour supply response for women under 30, although this importance declines with age. We also show that aggregate elasticities are cyclical, being larger in recessions and particularly so in long recessions. This heterogeneity at the micro level means that the aggregate labour supply elasticity is not a structural parameter: any macro elasticity will depend on the demographic structure of the economy as well as the distribution of wealth and the particular point in the business cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Attanasio, O. & Levell, P. & Low, H. & Sanchez-Marcos, V., 2017. "Aggregating Elasticities: Intensive and Extensive Margins of Female Labour Supply," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1711, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1711
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    1. Aggregating Elasticities:\ Intensive and Extensive Margins of Female Labour Supply By: Attanasio, Orazio ; Levell, Peter ; Low, Hamish ; Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2015-08-10 23:09:37

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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1789-1891, Elsevier.
    2. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2018. "Household Time Use Among Older Couples: Evidence and Implications for Labor Supply," 2018 Meeting Papers 90, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Giovanni Razzu & Carl Singleton & Mark Mitchell, 2020. "On why the gender employment gap in Britain has stalled since the early 1990s," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(6), pages 476-501, November.
    4. Laura Blow & Valérie Lechene & Peter Levell, 2014. "Using the CE to Model Household Demand," NBER Chapters, in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 141-178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mui, Preston & Schoefer, Benjamin, 2019. "The Aggregate Labor Supply Curve at the Extensive Margin: A Reservation Wedge Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 14209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Magdalena Smyk & Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2021. "A Cautionary Note on the Reliability of the Online Survey Data: The Case of Wage Indicator," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 50(1), pages 429-464, February.
    7. Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz & Magda Malec, 2018. "Evaluating welfare and economic effects of raised fertility," GRAPE Working Papers 25, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    8. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2019. "Household Time Use among Older Couples: Evidence and Implications for Labor Supply Parameters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(2), pages 1079-1120.
    9. Chris Belfield & Richard Blundell & Jonathan Cribb & Andrew Hood & Robert Joyce, 2017. "Two Decades of Income Inequality in Britain: The Role of Wages, Household Earnings and Redistribution," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(334), pages 157-179, April.
    10. Ross Richardson & Lia Pacelli & Ambra Poggi & Matteo Richiardi, 2018. "Female Labour Force Projections Using Microsimulation for Six EU Countries," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 11(2), pages 5-51.
    11. Scott French & Tess Stafford, 2017. "Returns to Experience and the Elasticity of Labor Supply," Discussion Papers 2017-15, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    12. Joaquín Serrano & Leonardo Gasparini & Mariana Marchionni & Pablo Glüzmann, 2019. "Economic cycle and deceleration of female labor force participation in Latin America," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 53(1), pages 1-21, December.
    13. Dagsvik, John K. & Strøm, Steinar & Locatelli, Marilena, 2019. "Marginal Compensated Effects in Discrete Labor Supply Models," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201906, University of Turin.
    14. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir, 2017. "The Use of Structural Models in Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 33-58, Spring.
    15. Orazio Attanasio, 2012. "Comment on "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2012, Volume 27, pages 57-77, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Orazio Attanasio, 2013. "Comment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 57-77.
    17. Samuel Bazzi, 2017. "Wealth Heterogeneity and the Income Elasticity of Migration," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 219-255, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour supply elasticities; heterogeneity; aggregation; non-separability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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