Does Labor Supply Explain Fluctuations in Average Hours Worked?
Economists have long debated over what labor supply has to do with fluctuations in hours worked. This paper uses a time series of cross-sections from the 1964-88 Current Population Surveys to study whether microeconomic intertemporal substitution models can explain time series fluctuations in annual averages. Conditional on a parametric trend, labor supply equations fit the 1975-87 data remarkably well. But estimates for 1963-74 are not robust, and estimated labor supply elasticities are much lower in the earlier period.