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Measurement error and time aggregation: a closer look at estimates of output-labor elasticities

This paper analyzes the effect of time aggregation on estimates of the elasticities of output with respect to employment and to average hours of work. The main goal is to get accurate estimates of production function parameters. Low frequency data generate better estimates of output-employment elasticity while high frequency data generate better estimates of output-average hours elasticity. This result comes from the fact that time aggregation increases (decreases) the bias in the estimate of the elasticity with respect to average hours (employment). Estimations of these elasticities at different data frequencies and numerical simulations illustrate this point. In addition, this estimation methodology shows that the elasticity of output with respect to employment is bigger than the elasticity of output with respect to average hours, as theory predicts, contradicting an established result in the literature.

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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1996/199602/199602pap.pdf
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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 96-2.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:96-2
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  1. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Valerie A. Ramey, 1992. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," NBER Working Papers 4105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Trejo, Stephen J, 1991. "The Effects of Overtime Pay Regulation on Worker Compensation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 719-40, September.
  3. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1991. "The Effect of Hours Constraints on Labor Supply Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 605-11, November.
  4. William T. Dickens & Shelly J. Lundberg, 1985. "Hours Restrictions and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 1638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zellner, Arnold & Montmarquette, Claude, 1971. "A Study of Some Aspects of Temporal Aggregation Problems in Econometric Analyses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(4), pages 335-42, November.
  6. Shea, John, 1993. "The Input-Output Approach to Instrument Selection," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(2), pages 145-55, April.
  7. Leslie, Derek G & Wise, John, 1980. "The Productivity of Hours in U.K. Manufacturing and Production Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 74-84, March.
  8. Robert E. Hall, 1980. "Employment Fluctuations and Wage Rigidity," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 91-142.
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