How Much Is Employment Increased by Cutting Labor Costs? Estimating the Elasticity of Job Creation
In search and bargaining models, the effect of higher wages on employment is determined by the elasticity of the job creation curve. In this paper, we use U.S. data over the 1970-2007 period to explore whether labor market outcomes abide by the restrictions implied by such models and to evaluate the elasticity of the job creation curve. The main difference between a job creation curve and a standard demand curve is that the former represents a relationship between wages and employment rates, while the latter represents a relationship between wages and employment levels. Although this distinction is quite simple, it has substantive implications for the identification of the effect of higher wages on employment. The main finding of the paper is that U.S. labor market outcomes observed at the city-industry level appear to conform well to the restrictions implied by search and bargaining theory and, using 10-year differences, we estimate the elasticity of the job creation curve with respect to wages to be -0.3. We interpret this relatively low elasticity as reflecting a low propensity for individuals to become more entrepreneurial and create more jobs when labor costs are lower and variable profits are higher.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mark Doms & Ethan Lewis, 2006.
"Labor supply and personal computer adoption,"
Working Paper Series
2006-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Mark Doms & Ethan Lewis, 2006. "Labor supply and personal computer adoption," Working Papers 06-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, July.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)