NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Labor Supply Matter During a Recession? Evidence from the Seasonal Cycle

Casey B. Mulligan

NBER Working Paper No. 16357
Issued in September 2010
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS

Every year has large demand and supply shifts associated with the seasons, regardless of the phase of the business cycle. Based on measures dating back to the 1940s, the seasonal shifts reject the hypotheses that demand shifts affect employment outcomes significantly more in recession years than in non-recession years, and that supply shifts matter significantly less (if at all) in the recession years. My results are consistent with the hypothesis that recessions are characterized by labor market distortions that are neither alleviated by additional labor demand nor exacerbated by additional labor supply.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16357

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