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The Intertemporal-Substitution Hypothesis is Alive and Well (But Hiding in the Data)

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  • Jean Kimmel

    () (Western Michigan University)

Abstract

According to the intertemporal-substitution hypothesis, which underlies the typical empirical real business cycle model, cyclical fluctuations in employment and hours of work are optimizing labor-supply responses to short-run aggregate demand shifts. We demonstrate that previous empirical labor-supply research has used inappropriate data to test the intertemporal-substitution hypothesis. We estimate a fixed-effects life-cycle labor-supply model with more informative data, the triannual micro data of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. We find economy-wide wage elasticities of employment and hours worked per employee of +1.55 and +0.51, which support the intertemporal-substitution hypothesis and give econometric credibility to the labor-market specification of empirical real business cycle models.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Kimmel, 1993. "The Intertemporal-Substitution Hypothesis is Alive and Well (But Hiding in the Data)," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 93-19, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:93-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hotz, V Joseph & Kydland, Finn E & Sedlacek, Guilherme L, 1988. "Intertemporal Preferences and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 335-360, March.
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    17. repec:fth:prinin:269 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intertemporal-substitution; cycle; Kneisner; Kimmel;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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