Asymmetric labor-supply responses to wage changes: Experimental evidence from an online labor market

Dörrenberg, Philipp ; Duncan, Denvil ; Löffler, Max

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-658618
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2023
The title of a journal, publication series: Labour Economics
Volume: 81
Issue number: April 2023, Article 102305
Page range: 1-13
Place of publication: Amsterdam [u.a.]
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISSN: 0927-5371
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL u. Betriebswirtschaftliche Steuerlehre (Dörrenberg 2019-)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: J20 , J22 , J31 , D03,
Keywords (English): labor supply , labor supply elasticities , asymmetric effects of wages , field experiment , Amazon mechanical turk
Abstract: We test whether labor supply responds symmetrically to wage increases and decreases using a randomized real effort online experiment. The results show that wage increases have smaller effects on labor supply than wage decreases of equal magnitude, especially on the extensive margin where the response to a wage decrease is twice that to a wage increase. This finding suggests that labor-supply responses to wage changes are asymmetric. We discuss the potential mechanisms behind our results including standard models of labor supply, reference dependence in consumption and reciprocity.

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