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Explaining the Evolution of Hours Worked and Employment across OECD Countries: An Equilibrium Search Approach

Author

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  • Langot, François

    () (University of Le Mans)

  • Quintero Rojas, Coralia

    () (University of Le Mans)

Abstract

Since 1960, the dynamics of the aggregate hours of market work exhibit dramatic differences across industrialized countries. Before 1980, these differences seem to come from the hours worked per employee (the intensive margin). However, since 1980 a notable feature of the data is that the divergence across countries responds to quantitatively important differences along the employment rate (the extensive margin). In this paper we develop an equilibrium matching model where both margins are endogenous. The model is rich enough to account for the behavior of the two margins of the aggregate hours when we include the observed heterogeneity across countries of both the taxes and the labor market institutions such as the unemployment benefits and the bargaining power. Because these findings come from an unified framework, they also give a strong support to the matching models.

Suggested Citation

  • Langot, François & Quintero Rojas, Coralia, 2008. "Explaining the Evolution of Hours Worked and Employment across OECD Countries: An Equilibrium Search Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3364, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3364
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    3. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
    4. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
    5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    6. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
    7. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, April.
    8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Diamond, Peter, 1992. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 354-359, May.
    9. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
    10. Arnaud Cheron & Francois Langot, 2004. "Labor Market Search and Real Business Cycles: Reconciling Nash Bargaining with the Real Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 476-493, April.
    11. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. François Langot & Alessandra Pizzo, 2015. "Accounting for Labor Gaps," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01164076, HAL.
    2. Anna Batyra & David de la Croix & Olivier Pierrard & Henri Sneessens, 2016. "Structural changes in the labor market and the rise of early retirement in Europe," CREA Discussion Paper Series 16-13, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    3. François Langot & Coralia Quintero-Rojas, 2009. "European vs American Hours Worked: assessing the role of the extensive and intensive margins," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 530-542.
    4. Merkl, Christian & Wesselbaum, Dennis, 2009. "Extensive vs. intensive margin in Germany and the United States: any differences?," Kiel Working Papers 1563, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. François Langot & Alessandra Pizzo, 2015. "Accounting for Labor Gaps," Post-Print halshs-01164076, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hours worked; intensive and extensive margins; taxation; labor market institutions; matching model;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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