NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Labor Demand: What Do We Know? What Don't We Know?

Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 3890
Issued in November 1991
NBER Program(s):   LS

This study reviews empirical research on the demand for labor. The static analysis discusses the production parameters describing homogeneous labor and labor disaggregated along various criteria; the distinction between workers and hours; the importance of job dynamics; and the nature of a variety of policies that affect the long-run demand for labor. Issues in the dynamics of demand for workers and hours, including speeds of adjustment for homogeneous and heterogeneous labor, asymmetries, and the nature of adjustment costs are presented. The paper emphasizes how the paucity of appropriate data has limited our ability to obtain reliable estimates of the underlying concepts.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3890

Published: "Labor Demand: Status & Prospects" in E.K. Grant et al, eds., Aspects of Labor Market Behavior, University of Toronto Press, 1995.

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