Labor Supply Estimates For Public Policy Evaluation
NBER Working Paper No. 299
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.
Published: Borjas, George and James Heckman. “Labor Supply Estimates for Public Policy Evaluation." Proceedings of The Industrial and Labor Relations Research Association, Chicago meetings, 1978.