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Aggregation and Labor Supply Elasticities

  • Kneip, Alois

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

  • Merz, Monika

    ()

    (University of Vienna)

  • Storjohann, Lidia

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

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 for worker 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 two-step 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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7699.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7699
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  1. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2006. "From Individual To Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based On A Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, 02.
  2. John T. Addison & Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2008. "Do Reservation Wages Really Decline?: Some International Evidence on the Determinants of Reservation Wages," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 85, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Hildenbrand, Werner & Kneip, Alois, 2005. "Aggregate behavior and microdata," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-27, January.
  8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
  9. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  10. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8355.
  11. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  12. Riccardo Fiorito & Giulio Zanella, 2012. "The Anatomy of the Aggregate Labor Supply Elasticity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 171-187, April.
  13. Michal Paluch & Alois Kneip & Werner Hildenbrand, 2012. "Individual Versus Aggregate Income Elasticities For Heterogeneous Populations," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 847-869, 08.
  14. 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).
  15. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
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