Household vs. Personal Accounts of the U.S. Labor Market, 1965-2000

28 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2004 Last revised: 14 Sep 2010

See all articles by Casey B. Mulligan

Casey B. Mulligan

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yona Rubinstein

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics

Date Written: February 2004

Abstract

The empirical labor supply literature includes some simple aggregate studies, and some individual-level studies explicitly accounting for heterogeneity and the discrete choice, but sometimes leaving open the ultimately aggregate questions that motivated the study. As a middle ground, we construct household-based measures of labor supply by within-household aggregating answers to the usual weeks and hours worked questionnaire items. Household (H) measures are substantially different than the more familiar person (P) measures: H employment rates are relatively higher, with little trend, and relatively little fluctuations. From the H point of view, essentially all aggregate hours trends and fluctuations can be attributed to changes on the intensive' margin and not the extensive' margin a characterization that is opposite of that derived from P measures. The cross-H distribution of hours is richer, and less spiked, than the cross-P distribution. Labor supply is more wage elastic from an H point of view.

Suggested Citation

Mulligan, Casey B. and Rubinstein, Yona, Household vs. Personal Accounts of the U.S. Labor Market, 1965-2000 (February 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10320. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=509851

Casey B. Mulligan (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
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773-702-9017 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Yona Rubinstein

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 5828 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

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