August 2023

IZA DP No. 16414: Labor Supply within the Firm

There is substantial variation in working time even within employer-employee matches, and yet estimates of the Frisch elasticity of labor supply can be near zero. This paper proposes a tractable theory of earnings and working time to interpret these observations. Production complementarities attenuate the response of working time to idiosyncratic, or worker-specific, shocks, but…firm-wide shocks are mediated by preference parameters. The model can be identified using…firm-worker matched data, revealing a Frisch elasticity of around 0.5. A quasi-experimental approach that exploits only idiosyncratic variation would find an elasticity less than half this.