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Theoretical and practical arguments for modeling labor supply as a choice among latent jobs

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Models of labor supply derived from stochastic utility representations and discretized sets of feasible hours of work have gained popularity because they are more practical than standard approaches based on marginal calculus. In this paper we argue that practicality is not the only feature that can be addressed by means of stochastic choice theory. This theory also offers a powerful framework for developing a more realistic model for labor supply choices, founded on individuals having preferences over jobs and facing restrictions on the choice of jobs and hours of work. We discuss and clarify how this modeling framework deviates from both the conventional discrete approach (van Soest, 1995), as well as the standard textbook approach based on marginal calculus (Hausman, 1985). We furthermore discuss how the model based on job choice offers the possibility of conducting a richer set of simulations of alternative policies.

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  • John K. Dagsvik & Zhiyang Jia & Tom Kornstad & Thor O. Thoresen, 2012. "Theoretical and practical arguments for modeling labor supply as a choice among latent jobs," Discussion Papers 692, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:692
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    Cited by:

    1. John K. Dagsvik & Zhiyang Jia, 2016. "Labor Supply as a Choice Among Latent Jobs: Unobserved Heterogeneity and Identification," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 487-506, April.
    2. Debra L. Brucker & Nicholas G. Rollins & Andrew J. Houtenville, 2018. "Striving to Work," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 541-558, September.
    3. Löffler, Max & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2013. "Validating Structural Labor Supply Models," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79819, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell & Nicolas Hérault & Penny Mok, 2020. "A microsimulation analysis of marginal welfare-improving income tax reforms for New Zealand," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(2), pages 409-434, April.
    5. Tibor Paul Hanappi & Sandra Müllbacher, 2016. "Tax incentives and family labor supply in Austria," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 961-987, December.
    6. Dagsvik, John K. & Strøm, Steinar & Locatelli, Marilena, 2019. "Marginal Compensated Effects in Discrete Labor Supply Models," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201906, University of Turin.
    7. Ritwik K Niyogi & Peter Shizgal & Peter Dayan, 2014. "Some Work and Some Play: Microscopic and Macroscopic Approaches to Labor and Leisure," PLOS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(12), pages 1-10, December.
    8. Thor O. Thoresen & Zhiyang Jia & Peter J. Lambert, 2013. "Distributional benchmarking in tax policy evaluations," Discussion Papers 765, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    9. Fischer, Benjamin & Jessen, Robin & Steiner, Viktor, 2019. "Work incentives and the cost of redistribution via tax-transfer reforms under constrained labor supply," Discussion Papers 2019/10, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    10. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman & Hérault, Nicolas & Mok, Penny, 2018. "Microsimulation Analysis of Optimal Income Tax Reforms. An Application to New Zealand," GLO Discussion Paper Series 213, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    11. Thoresen, Thor O. & Vattø, Trine E., 2019. "An up-to-date joint labor supply and child care choice model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 51-73.
    12. Shun-ichiro Bessho, 2018. "Child Benefit, Tax Allowances and Behavioural Responses: The Case of Japanese Reform, 2010–2011," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 69(4), pages 478-501, December.
    13. Mideros Andrés & O’Donoghue Cathal, 2015. "The Effect of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Adult Labour Supply: A Unitary Discrete Choice Model for the Case of Ecuador," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 225-255, December.
    14. Dagsvik, John K. & Strøm, Steinar & Locatelli, Marilena, 2013. "Compensated Discrete Choice with Particular Reference to Labor Supply," Memorandum 20/2013, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    15. Strom Steinar & Locatelli Marilena & Dagsvik John K., 2013. "Compensated Labor Supply Probabilities and Slutsky Elasticities in Discrete Labor Supply Models," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201308, University of Turin.
    16. Zhiyang Jia & Trine E. Vattø, 2016. "The path of labor supply adjustment. Sources of lagged responses to tax-benefit reforms," Discussion Papers 854, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    17. Thoresen, Thor O. & Vattø, Trine E., 2015. "Validation of the discrete choice labor supply model by methods of the new tax responsiveness literature," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 38-53.
    18. Thor O. Thoresen & Zhiyang Jia & Peter J. Lambert, 2016. "Is there More Redistribution Now? A Review of Methods for Evaluating Tax Redistributional Effects," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 72(3), pages 302-333, September.
    19. Vidar Christiansen & Zhiyang Jia & Thor Olav Thoresen, 2018. "Assessing Income Tax Perturbations," CESifo Working Paper Series 7428, CESifo.
    20. John K. Dagsvik & Zhiyang Jia, 2014. "Labor supply as a discrete choice among latent jobs: Unobserved heterogeneity and identification," Discussion Papers 786, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    21. Thor O. Thoresen & Trine E. Vattø, 2013. "Validation of structural labor supply model by the elasticity of taxable income," Discussion Papers 738, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

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    Keywords

    Labor supply; Random utility models; Tax reforms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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