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Labour Demand Research: Towards a Better Match between Better Theory and Better Data

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  • Pedro Portugal
  • John T. Addison
  • José Varejão

Abstract

At first blush, most advances in labour demand were achieved by the late 1980s. Since then progress might appear to have stalled. We argue to the contrary that significant progress has been made in understanding labour market frictions and imperfections, and in modelling search behaviour and heterogeneous preferences. Perhaps most notable have been the improvements in data, in the form of longitudinal matched employer-employee data, and in techniques and algorithms (e.g. for solving heterogeneous parameter models). In short, the Cinderella status of the field is frankly overdrawn. Nevertheless, a chief lacuna remains the need for a better match between theory and data. This paper provides a critical albeit eclectic assessment of these developments, along the dimensions of the static and dynamic theory of labour demand, wage formation, and estimation, noting advances and limitations. As is conventional, somewhat greater emphasis is placed on the latter.

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  • Pedro Portugal & John T. Addison & José Varejão, 2014. "Labour Demand Research: Towards a Better Match between Better Theory and Better Data," Working Papers w201409, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201409
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    7. Pedro S. Martins, 2016. "The third worker: Assessing the trade-off between employees and contractors," Working Papers 75, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    8. Guimaraes, Paulo & Martins, Fernando & Portugal, Pedro, 2017. "Upward Nominal Wage Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 10510, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    JEL classification:

    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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