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How important is the intensive margin of labor adjustment?


  • Thijs van Rens


Using new quarterly data for hours worked in OECD countries, Ohanian and Raffo (2011) argue that in many OECD countries, particularly in Europe, hours per worker are quantitatively important as an intensive margin of labor adjustment, possibly because labor market frictions are higher than in the US. I argue that this conclusion is not supported by the data. Using the same data on hours worked, I find evidence that labor market frictions are higher in Europe than in the US, like Ohanian and Raffo, but also that these frictions seem to affect the intensive margin at least as much as the extensive margin of labor adjustment.

Suggested Citation

  • Thijs van Rens, 2011. "How important is the intensive margin of labor adjustment?," Economics Working Papers 1285, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1285

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    2. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
    3. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Galí, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    4. Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "The Economic Crisis from a Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 45-66, Fall.
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    More about this item


    hours worked; intensive margin labor adjustment;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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