Labour Supply as a Buffer: Evidence from UK Households
38 Pages Posted: 30 May 2011
Date Written: May 27, 2011
This paper examines labour supply adjustment – both hours worked and participation decisions. The analysis focuses on the response of each to financial shocks, employing data from the British Household Panel Survey. Results suggest that employees whose financial situation deteriorates relative to what they expected, increase their labour supply in response. That response is consistent with models of self-insurance that incorporate labour supply flexibility. The shock reflects several factors including financial wealth and a partner’s employment situation. The response is significantly larger for those who change job, consistent with the importance of hours constraints within jobs. The propensity to participate in the labour market also appears to respond to the financial shock but that is somewhat less robust than the hours response.
Keywords: Labour supply, self-insurance.
JEL Classification: J22.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation