Creator: Prescott, Edward C. and Wallenius, Johanna Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 457 Abstract:
There have been tremendous advances in macroeconomics, following the introduction of labor supply into the field. Today it is widely acknowledged that labor supply matters for many key economic issues, particularly for business cycles and tax policy analysis. However, the extent to which labor supply matters for such questions depends on the aggregate labor supply elasticity—that is, the sensitivity of the time allocation between market and non-market activities to changes in the effective wage. The magnitude of the aggregate labor supply elasticity has been the subject of much debate for several decades. In this paper we review this debate and conclude that the elasticity of labor supply of the aggregate household is much higher than the elasticity of the identical households being aggregated. The aggregate household utility function differs from individuals’ utility functions for the same reason the aggregate production function differs from individual firms’ production functions being aggregated. The differences in individual and aggregate supply elasticities are what aggregation theory predicts.
Creator: Prescott, Edward C., Rogerson, Richard Donald, and Wallenius, Johanna Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 400 Abstract:
This paper studies lifetime aggregate labor supply with endogenous workweek length. Such a theory is needed to evaluate various government policies. A key feature of our model is a nonlinear mapping from hours worked to labor services. This gives rise to an endogenous workweek that can differ across occupations. The theory determines what fraction of the lifetime an individual works, not when. We find that constraints on workweek length have different consequences for total hours than total labor services. Also, we find that policies designed to increase the length of the working life may not increase aggregate lifetime labor supply.
Keyword: Workweek length and Lifetime aggregate labor supply Subject (JEL): E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data) and J20 - Demand and Supply of Labor: General
Creator: Braun, R. Anton and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 527 Keyword: Homework, Employment, Women, Family labor supply, Men, Hours per worker , and Household production Subject (JEL): J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply and D13 - Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan, Storesletten, Kjetil, and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 432 Abstract:
This paper develops a model with partial insurance against idiosyncratic wage shocks to quantify risk sharing, and to decompose inequality into life-cycle shocks versus initial heterogeneity in preferences and productivity. Closed-form solutions are obtained for equilibrium allocations and for moments of the joint distribution of consumption, hours, and wages. We prove identification and estimate the model with data from the CEX and the PSID over the period 1967–2006. We find that (i) 40% of permanent wage shocks pass through to consumption; (ii) the share of wage risk insured privately increased until the early 1980s and remained stable thereafter; (iii) life-cycle productivity shocks account for half of the cross-sectional variance of wages and earnings, but for much less of dispersion in consumption or hours worked.
Subject (JEL): E52 - Monetary Policy, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation, and E23 - Macroeconomics: Production
Creator: Keane, Michael P. and Moffitt, Robert A. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 557 Abstract:
One of the long-standing issues in the literature on transfer programs for the U.S. low-income population concerns the high cumulative marginal tax rate on earnings induced by participation in the multiplicity of programs offered by the government. Empirical work on the issue has reached an impasse partly because the analytic solution to the choice problem is intractable and partly because the model requires the estimation of multiple sets of equations with limited dependent variables, an estimation problem which until recently has been computationally infeasible. In this paper we estimate a model of labor supply and multiple program participation using methods of simulation estimation that enable us to solve both problems. The results show asymmetric wage and tax rate effects, with fairly large wage elasticities of labor supply but very inelastic responses to moderate changes in cumulative marginal tax rates, implying that high welfare tax rates do not necessarily induce major reductions in work effort.
Creator: Boerma, Job and Karabarbounis, Loukas Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 746 Abstract:
We revisit the causes, welfare consequences, and policy implications of the dispersion in households' labor market outcomes using a model with uninsurable risk, incomplete asset markets, and home production. Accounting for home production amplifies welfare-based differences across households meaning that inequality is larger than we thought. Home production does not offset differences that originate in the market sector because productivity differences in the home sector are significant and the time input in home production does not covary with consumption expenditures and wages in the cross section of households. The optimal tax system should feature more progressivity taking into account home production.
Keyword: Inequality, Labor supply, Home production, and Consumption Subject (JEL): D10 - Household Behavior: General, J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and D60 - Welfare Economics: General
Creator: Fogli, Alessandra and Veldkamp, Laura Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 386 Abstract:
In the last century, the evolution of female labor force participation has been S-shaped: It rose slowly at first, then quickly, and has leveled off recently. Central to this dramatic rise has been entry of women with young children. We argue that this S-shaped dynamic came from generations of women learning about the relative importance of nature (endowed ability) and nurture (time spent child-rearing) for children’s outcomes. Each generation updates their parents’ beliefs by observing the children of employed women. When few women participate in the labor force, most observations are uninformative and participation rises slowly. As information accumulates and the effects of labor force participation become less uncertain, more women participate, learning accelerates and labor force participation rises faster. As beliefs converge to the truth, participation flattens out. Survey data, wage data and participation data support our mechanism and distinguish it from alternative explanations.
Keyword: Female labor force participation, Preference formation, Labor supply, Endogenous information diffusion, and S-shaped learning Subject (JEL): N32 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-, R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity, J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure, and Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
Creator: Kleiner, Morris and Soltas, Evan J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 590 Abstract:
We assess the welfare consequences of occupational licensing for workers and consumers. We estimate a model of labor market equilibrium in which licensing restricts labor supply but also affects labor demand via worker quality and selection. On the margin of occupations licensed differently between U.S. states, we find that licensing raises wages and hours but reduces employment. We estimate an average welfare loss of 12 percent of occupational surplus. Workers and consumers respectively bear 70 and 30 percent of the incidence. Higher willingness to pay offsets 80 percent of higher prices for consumers, and higher wages compensate workers for 60 percent of the cost of mandated investment in occupation-specific human capital.
Keyword: Labor supply, Welfare analysis, Human capital, and Occupational licensing Subject (JEL): J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, D61 - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis, K31 - Labor Law, J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing, and J38 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: Public Policy
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 321 Abstract:
Americans now work 50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians. This was not the case in the early 1970s when the Western Europeans worked more than Americans. In this paper, I examine the role of taxes in accounting for the differences in labor supply across time and across countries, in particular, the effective marginal tax rate on labor income. The population of countries considered is that of the G-7 countries, which are major advanced industrial countries. The surprising finding is that this marginal tax rate accounts for the predominance of the differences at points in time and the large change in relative labor supply over time with the exception of the Italian labor supply in the early 1970s.
Keyword: International Labor Supply, International Tax Rates, and Social Security Reform Subject (JEL): H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E62 - Fiscal Policy
Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 232 Abstract:
A model of a "real" business cycle is produced in which labor market participants possess private information. A class of economies is considered in which interesting cycles cannot arise without private information. A methodology adapted from Kydland and Prescott (1982) is then employed to show that models based on private information can empirically confront salient features of postwar U.S. business cycles. Moreover, this can be done in a way which is consistent with existing microeconomic evidence on wages and labor supply. Finally, it is shown that the important features of the model related to private information are fairly general.
Keyword: Assymetric information, Labor markets, Labor contracts, and Unemployment Subject (JEL): D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles