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The Redistribution RecessionHow Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy$
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Casey B. Mulligan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199942213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199942213.001.0001

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The Rise of Labor Productivity

The Rise of Labor Productivity

Chapter:
(p.11) 2 The Rise of Labor Productivity
Source:
The Redistribution Recession
Author(s):

Casey B. Mulligan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199942213.003.0002

During the recession of 2008–9, labor hours fell sharply, while wages and output per hour rose. Some, but not all, of the productivity and wage increase can be attributed to changing quality of the workforce. The rest of the increase appears to be due to increases in production inputs other than labor hours. All of these findings, plus the drop in consumer expenditure, are consistent with the hypothesis that labor market distortions were increasing during the recession and have remained in place during the slow recovery. Producers appear to be trying to continue production with less labor, rather than cutting labor hours as a means of cutting output.

Keywords:   productivity, wages, labor supply residuals, work hours, 2008–9 recession

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