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Heterogeneity and aggregation in the labor market : implications for aggregate preference shifts

  • Yongsung Chang
  • Sun-Bin Kim

The cyclical behavior of hours of work, wages, and consumption does not conform with the prediction of the representative agent with standard preferences. The residual in the intra-temporal first-order condition for commodity consumption and leisure is often viewed as a failure of labor-market clearing. We show that a simple heterogeneous agent economy with incomplete markets and indivisible labor generates an aggregation error that looks much like the preference residual in aggregate data. Our results caution against viewing the preference residual as a failure of labor-market clearing or a fundamental driving force of business cycles.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 03-17.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:03-17
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  1. Hall, Robert E., 1987. "Productivity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 421-444, January.
  2. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  3. Nakajima, Tomoyuki, 2005. "A business cycle model with variable capacity utilization and demand disturbances," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1331-1360, July.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 0898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  6. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S223-50, January.
  7. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2003. "From individual to aggregate labor supply : a quantitative analysis based on a heterogeneous agent macroeconomy," Working Paper 03-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 1998. "Using Consumer Theory to Test Competing Business Cycle Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 233-261, April.
  9. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
  11. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  12. V V Chari & Patrick J Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Business Cycle Accounting," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000421, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  14. Albert Marcet & Guido Lorenzoni, 1998. "Parameterized expectations approach; Some practical issues," Economics Working Papers 296, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  15. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  16. Heckman, James, 1984. "Comments on the Ashenfelter and Kydland papers," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 209-224, January.
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