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A Shred of Credible Evidence on the Long Run Elasticity of Labor Supply

  • Orley Ashenfelter

    (Princeton University)

  • Kirk Doran

    (University of Notre Dame)

  • Bruce Schaller

    (New York City Department of Transportation)

The available estimates of the wage elasticity of male labor supply in the literature have varied between -0.2 and 0.2, implying that permanent wage increases have relatively small, poorly determined effects on labor supplied. The variation in existing estimates calls for a simple, natural experiment in which men can change their hours of work, and in which wages have been exogenously and permanently changed. We introduce a panel data set of taxi drivers who choose their own hours, and who experienced two exogenous permanent fare increases instituted by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Our preferred estimate suggests that their elasticity of labor supply is about -0.2.

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File URL: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp019880vq993
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 1180.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:dsp019880vq993
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  1. Ham, John C, 1982. "Estimation of a Labour Supply Model with Censoring Due to Unemployment and Underemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 335-54, July.
  2. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 44-64, Supplemen.
  3. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  4. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  5. Burtless, Gary & Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "The Effect of Taxation on Labor Supply: Evaluating the Gary Negative Income Tax Experiments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1103-30, December.
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Christina H. Paxson, 1987. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Tradeoffs," NBER Working Papers 2121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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