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Aggregation and Labor Supply Elasticities

  • Alois Kneip
  • Monika Merz
  • Lidia Storjohann

The aggregate Frisch elasticity of labor supply has played a key role in business cycle analysis. This paper develops a statistical aggregation procedure which allows forworker heterogeneity in observables and unobservables and is applicable to an individual labor supply function with non-employment as a possible outcome. Performing a thought experiment in which all offered or paid wages are subject to an unanticipated temporary change, we can derive an analytical expression for the aggregate Frisch elasticity and illustrate its main components: (i) the intensive and extensive adjustment of hours worked, (ii) the extensive adjustment of wages, and (iii)the aggregate employment rate. We use individual-specific data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for males at working-age in order to quantify each component. This data base provides indirect evidence on non-employed workers' reservation wages. We use this variable in conjunction with a twostep conditional density estimator to retrieve the extensive adjustment of hours worked and wages paid. The intensive hours' adjustment follows from estimating a conventional panel data model of individual hours worked. Our estimated aggregate Frisch elasticity varies between .63 and .70. These results are sensitive to the assumed nature of wage changes.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 606.

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Length: 34 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp606
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  1. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
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  3. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2012. "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 1-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Céspedes Reynaga, Nikita & Rendon, Silvio, 2012. "The Frisch Elasticity in Labor Markets with High Job Turnover," IZA Discussion Papers 6991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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