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Business Cycles and Household Formation: The Micro vs the Macro Labor Elasticity

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  • Sebastian Dyrda
  • Greg Kaplan
  • José-Víctor Ríos-Rull

Abstract

We provide new evidence on the the cyclical behavior of household size in the United States from 1979 to 2010. During economic downturns, people live in larger households. This is mostly, but not entirely, driven by young people moving into or delaying departure from the parental home. We assess the importance of these cyclical movements for aggregate labor supply by building a model of endogenous household formation within a real business cycle structure. We use the model to measure how much more volatile are hours due to two mechanisms: (i) the presence of a large group of mostly young individuals with non-traditional living arrangements; and (ii) the possibility for these individuals to change their living situation in response to aggregate conditions. Our exercise assumes that older people living in stable households have a Frisch elasticity that is consistent with the micro evidence that is based on such people. The inclusion of people living in unstable households yields an implied aggregate, or macro, Frisch elasticity that is around 45% larger than the assumed micro elasticity.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17880
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    8. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2011. "Are Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities Consistent? A Review of Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 471-475, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Schorfheide, Frank & Fuentes-Albero, Cristina & Kryshko, Maxym & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2012. "Methods versus substance: Measuring the effects of technology shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 826-846.
    2. Marianne Bitler & Hilary Hoynes, 2015. "Living Arrangements, Doubling Up, and the Great Recession: Was This Time Different?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 166-170, May.
    3. Sebastian Dyrda & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2012. "Models of government expenditure multipliers," Economic Policy Paper 12-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. William B. Peterman, 2016. "Reconciling Micro And Macro Estimates Of The Frisch Labor Supply Elasticity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 100-120, January.
    5. Richard W. Evans & Kerk L. Phillips, 2018. "Advantages of an Ellipse when Modeling Leisure Utility," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 51(3), pages 513-533, March.
    6. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Ezgi Kaya, 2018. "Young Adults Living with their Parents and the Influence of Peers," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(3), pages 689-713, June.
    7. Greg Kaplan, 2012. "Moving Back Home: Insurance against Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 446-512.
    8. Mark Aguiar & Mark Bils & Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2017. "Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 23552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kseniya Abanokova & Michael Lokshin, 2015. "Changes in household composition as a shock-mitigating strategy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(2), pages 371-388, April.
    10. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-56.
    11. Giuseppe Fiori & Domenico Ferraro, 2016. "Aging of the Baby Boomers: Demographics and Propagation of Tax Shocks," 2016 Meeting Papers 359, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Kateryna Bornukova, 2015. "Accounting for Labor Productivity Puzzle," BEROC Working Paper Series 26, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Marios Karabarbounis, 2013. "Heterogeneity in labor supply elasticity and optimal taxation," Working Paper 13-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    16. Andrew D. Paciorek, 2013. "The long and the short of household formation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    17. Patacchini, Eleonora & Arduini, Tiziano, 2016. "Residential choices of young Americans," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 69-81.
    18. Gatskova, Kseniia & Kozlov, Vladimir, 2018. "Doubling Up or Moving Out? The Effect of International Labor Migration on Household Size," CEI Working Paper Series 2017-6, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    19. Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, 2016. "Living Arrangements of the Youth: Determinants and Gender Differences/Patrones de convivencia de los jóvenes: Determinantes y diferencias por sexos," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 34, pages 35-44, Enero.
    20. Namkee Ahn & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2017. "Emancipation under the great recession in Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 477-495, June.
    21. Furlanetto, Francesco & Natvik, Gisle J. & Seneca, Martin, 2013. "Investment shocks and macroeconomic co-movement," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 208-216.
    22. Bleemer, Zachary & Brown, Meta & Lee, Donghoon & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2014. "Tuition, jobs, or housing: what's keeping millennials at home?," Staff Reports 700, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Jul 2017.
    23. Haddow, Abigail & Mileva, Mariya, 2013. "Financial factors and the international transmission mechanism," Bank of England working papers 479, Bank of England.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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