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Is Labor Supply Important for Business Cycles?

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  • Per Krusell
  • Toshihiko Mukoyama
  • Richard Rogerson
  • Ayşegül Şahin

Abstract

We build a general equilibrium model that features uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks, search frictions and an operative labor supply choice along the extensive margin. The model is calibrated to match the average levels of gross flows across the three labor market states: employment, unemployment, and non-participation. We use it to study the implications of two kinds of aggregate shocks for the cyclical behavior of labor market aggregates and flows: shocks to search frictions (the rates of job finding and job loss) and shocks to the return on the market activity (any factors affecting aggregate productivity). We find that both kinds of shocks are needed to explain the labor market data, and that an active labor supply channel is key. A model with friction shocks only, calibrated to match unemployment fluctuations, accounts for only a small fraction of employment fluctuations and has counterfactual cyclical predictions for participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Richard Rogerson & Ayşegül Şahin, 2012. "Is Labor Supply Important for Business Cycles?," NBER Working Papers 17779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17779
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    1. 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.
    2. Martin Floden & Jesper Lindé, 2001. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the United States and Sweden: Is There a Role for Government Insurance?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 406-437, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jochen Mankart & Rigas Oikonomou, 2017. "Household Search and the Aggregate Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(4), pages 1735-1788.
    2. Marianna Kudlyak & Fabian Lange, 2014. "Measuring Heterogeneity in Job Finding Rates Among the Nonemployed Using Labor Force Status Histories," Working Paper 14-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    3. Catalano, Michele & Di Guilmi, Corrado, 2019. "Uncertainty, rationality and complexity in a multi-sectoral dynamic model: The dynamic stochastic generalized aggregation approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 117-144.
    4. Regis Barnichon & Andrew Figura, 2016. "Declining Desire to Work and Downward Trends in Unemployment and Participation," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 449-494.
    5. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Richard Rogerson & Aysegul Sahin, 2020. "Gross Worker Flows and Fluctuations in the Aggregate Labor Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 205-226, August.
    6. Makoto Nakajima & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2014. "Credit, Bankruptcy, and Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 20617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michaillat, Pascal, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers Over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Didem Tuzemen, 2012. "Labor market dynamics with endogenous labor force participation and on-the-job search," Research Working Paper RWP 12-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    9. Alisdair McKay & Tamas Papp, 2011. "Accounting for Idiosyncratic Wage Risk Over the Business Cycle," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-028, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    10. Mukoyama, Toshihiko, 2014. "The cyclicality of job-to-job transitions and its implications for aggregate productivity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-17.
    11. Maximiliano Dvorkin, 2013. "Sectoral Shocks, Reallocation and Unemployment in a Model of Competitive Labor Markets," 2013 Meeting Papers 1229, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Epstein, Brendan, 2018. "Labor Force Participation Dynamics," MPRA Paper 88776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Bjarni G. Einarsson, 2015. "The Ins and Outs of Icelandic Unemployment," Economics wp69, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    14. Marcelo Veracierto, 2015. "A Simple Model of Gross Worker Flows across Labor Market States," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II.
    15. Yuelin Liu, 2014. "Endogenous Labor Force Participation, Involuntary Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 2014-41, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    16. Petr Maleček, 2014. "Toky dlouhodobé nezaměstnanosti [Long-Term Unemployment Flows]," Politická ekonomie, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2014(4), pages 560-576.
    17. Marianna Kudlyak & Felipe Schwartzman, 2012. "Accounting for unemployment in the Great Recession : nonparticipation matters," Working Paper 12-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    18. Popp, Aaron, 2017. "Unemployment insurance in a three-state model of the labor market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 142-157.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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