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Labor Supply Elasticities: Can Micro be Misleading for Macro?

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  • Riccardo Fiorito
  • Giulio Zanella

Abstract

In this paper we compare, in a fully consistent manner, micro and macro labor supply elasticities. The individual elasticity is obtained from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The aggregate, time-series, elasticity is estimated from the aggregation of individual units in the PSID for each year. We rely on exact aggregation of first-order conditions in a lifecycle labor supply model with home production. We find an individual elasticity of approximately 0.1, a low value that is in accordance with standard micro estimates. At the same time, we find an aggregate elasticity near 1. This result derives from a pure aggregation effect, with most of the difference due to the extensive margin. An implication of our result is that micro evidence is not always a reliable guide for calibrating aggregate macroeconomic parameters.

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo Fiorito & Giulio Zanella, "undated". "Labor Supply Elasticities: Can Micro be Misleading for Macro?," Working Papers 4, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:itt:wpaper:wp2008-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Bailliu, Jeannine & Meh, Cesaire & Zhang, Yahong, 2015. "Macroprudential rules and monetary policy when financial frictions matter," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 148-161.
    2. Bertinelli, Luisito & Cardi, Olivier & Sen, Partha, 2013. "Deregulation shock in product market and unemployment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 711-734.
    3. Dmitriev, Alexandre & Roberts, Ivan, 2012. "International business cycles with complete markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 862-875.
    4. Obstbaum, Meri, 2011. "The role of labour markets in fiscal policy transmission," Research Discussion Papers 16/2011, Bank of Finland.
    5. Daniel Farhat, 2009. "Endogenous Labor Supply, Heterogeneous Firms and International Business Cycles," Working Papers 0909, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2009.
    6. William B. Peterman, 2012. "An extensive look at taxes: how does endogenous retirement affect optimal taxation?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Daniel Farhat, 2010. "Capital Accumulation, Non-traded Goods and International Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Working Papers 1002, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised May 2010.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    elasticity of labor supply; aggregation; calibration;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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