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Labor Supply: Are the Income and Substitution Effects Both Large or Both Small?

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  • Miles S. Kimball
  • Matthew D. Shapiro

Abstract

Labor supply is unresponsive to permanent changes in wage rates. Thus, income and substitution effects cancel, but are they both close to zero or both large? This paper develops a theory of labor supply where income and substitution effects cancel, taking into account optimization over time, fixed costs of going to work, and interactions of labor supply decisions within the household. The paper then applies this theory to survey evidence on the response of labor supply to a large wealth shock. The evidence implies that the constant marginal utility of wealth (Frisch) elasticity of labor supply is about one.

Suggested Citation

  • Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Labor Supply: Are the Income and Substitution Effects Both Large or Both Small?," NBER Working Papers 14208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14208
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • 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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