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The Demand for Youth: Implications for the Hours Volatility Puzzle

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  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Seth Pruitt
  • Henry E. Siu

Abstract

The employment and hours worked of young individuals fluctuate much more over the business cycle than those of prime-aged individuals. Understanding the mechanism underlying this observation is key to explaining the volatility of aggregate hours over the cycle. We argue that the joint behavior of age-specific hours and wages in the U.S. data point to differences in the cyclical characteristics of labor demand. To articulate this view, we consider a production technology displaying capital-experience complementarity. We estimate the key parameters governing the degree of complementarity and show that the model can account for the behavior of age-specific hours and wages while generating a series of aggregate hours that is nearly as volatile as output.

Suggested Citation

  • Nir Jaimovich & Seth Pruitt & Henry E. Siu, 2009. "The Demand for Youth: Implications for the Hours Volatility Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 14697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14697
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Dyrda & Greg Kaplan & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2012. "Business Cycles and Household Formation: The Micro vs the Macro Labor Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 17880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lugauer, Steven, 2012. "Demographic Change And The Great Moderation In An Overlapping Generations Model With Matching Frictions," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(05), pages 706-731, November.
    3. Dennett, Julia & Modestino, Alicia Sasser, 2013. "Uncertain futures?: youth attachment to the labor market in the United States and New England," New England Public Policy Center Research Report 13-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    4. Ariel Burstein & Javier Cravino & Jonathan Vogel, 2013. "Importing Skill-Biased Technology," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 32-71, April.
    5. Janiak, Alexandre & Santos Monteiro, Paulo, 2016. "Towards a quantitative theory of automatic stabilizers: The role of demographics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 35-49.
    6. Mennuni, Alessandro, 2013. "Labor Force Composition and Aggregate Fluctuations," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1302, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    7. Lugauer, Steven & Redmond, Michael, 2012. "The age distribution and business cycle volatility: International evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 694-696.
    8. Steven Lugauer, 2012. "Estimating the Effect of the Age Distribution on Cyclical Output Volatility Across the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 896-902, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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