Orazio Attanasio, Peter Levell, Hamish Low, Virginia Sánchez Marcos, 10 November 2018

Economists disagree on the size of labour supply elasticities. The column uses a model of female labour supply to show that there is substantial heterogeneity in both cross section and over the business cycle. It is not possible to think about labour supply elasticity as a unique structural parameter. To understand the consequences of income tax changes, for example, we need to be explicit about whose tax is changing.

Enrico Rubolino, Daniel Waldenström, 29 April 2017

The responsiveness of high-income earners to taxation is a central aspect of tax system design. This column presents patterns in the tax elasticity of top earners for up to 30 countries over a period of 115 years. Tax elasticities vary tremendously over time, space, and income, with a J-shaped pattern emerging over the past century. Tax avoidance behaviour strongly influences the elasticity of the very top earners, while there is less support for the role of labour supply responses across earners.

Ansgar Belke, Clemens Domnick, Daniel Gros, 19 January 2017

A high correlation of business cycles is usually seen as a key criterion for an optimum currency area. This column argues that the elasticity with which countries react to the common cycle is equally important. A country with a non-unitary growth elasticity relative to the common area will experience cyclical divergences at the peak and trough of the common cycle. Despite being characterised by highly-correlated business cycles, the Eurozone suffers from widely differing amplitudes. 

Pierre-Louis Vézina, David von Below, 20 January 2016

The price of oil rose to unprecedented highs in the 2000s, and its recent plunge took many by surprise. Although there are many consequences of such price fluctuations on the world economy, they are notoriously difficult to pin down. This column examines the trade consequences of varying shipping costs caused by oil price fluctuations. High oil prices are found to increase the distance elasticity of trade, making trade less global. The recent drop in oil prices could thus be a boon for globalisation. 

Ferdinando Monte, Stephen Redding, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 10 December 2015

Commuting fairly long distances to work has become an accepted facet of modern life in big cities. Yet very little research has been done on commuting and how elastic or inelastic it is in the face of certain shocks. This column goes through the data and assesses the impact of shocks on local employment, migration and commuting. Academics would do well to increase research into commuting in order to better develop wider employment policy.

Lutz Kilian, 13 November 2007

In Discussion Paper 6559 Research Fellow Lutz Killian dispels a number of myths concerning oil price shocks and their impact on the US economy. What is the origin of oil price shocks? Most oil price shocks since the 1970s have been driven by a combination of strong global demand for industrial commodities (including crude oil) and expectations shifts that increase precautionary demand for crude oil specifically.


CEPR Policy Research