Labor Supply Estimates for Public Policy Evaluation

17 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2004 Last revised: 11 Apr 2010

See all articles by George J. Borjas

George J. Borjas

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: November 1978

Abstract

In recent years, the study of labor supply has occupied the attention of a large number of economists. With the growth in interest in the topic and with the inevitable diversity of economic models and statistical methods proposed by new entrants in the field, the literature has developed its own folklore. The principal legend is that the empirical estimates of the same parameters obtained from the set of available studies display such diversity that they are of little use to policymakers. This paper disputes the folklore. We claim that there is more agreement than disagreement once a few reasonable criteria based on recent theoretical work are used to eliminate certain studies from consideration, and once we are careful about posing the question we seek the estimates to address.

Suggested Citation

Borjas, George J. and Heckman, James J., Labor Supply Estimates for Public Policy Evaluation (November 1978). NBER Working Paper No. w0299. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260485

George J. Borjas (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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