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Intertemporal Substitution in the Presence of Long Term Contracts


  • John Abowd

    (University of Chicago)

  • David Card

    (Princeton University)


The authors compare the implications of a symmetric information contracting model and a dynamic labor supply model for changes in earnings and hours. A simple test is whether earnings changes are more variable than hours changes, as predicted by the labor supply model, or less variable, as predicted by the contracting model. The authors apply this test to two longitudinal surveys of adult men and find that earnings are somewhat more variable than hours for men who never change employers. The estimates suggest that changes in earnings and hours not associated with survey measurement error occur at fixed wage rates.

Suggested Citation

  • John Abowd & David Card, 1984. "Intertemporal Substitution in the Presence of Long Term Contracts," Working Papers 546, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:166

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    2. Masson, Robert Tempest, 1971. "Executive Motivations, Earnings, and Consequent Equity Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1278-1292, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Goldberg, Victor P., 1980. "Bridges over contested terrain : Exploring the radical account of the employment relationship," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 249-274, September.
    4. Wilbur G. Lewellen, 1968. "Executive Compensation in Large Industrial Corporations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lewe68-1, January.
    5. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1984. "Macroeconomic analyses and microeconomic analyses of labor supply," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 117-156, January.
    2. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
    3. Chou, Y.K., 2000. "Testing Alternative Models of Labor Supply. Evidence from Taxi-Drivers in Singapore," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 768, The University of Melbourne.

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