Richard Rogerson

Richard Rogerson

Consultant

rdr@princeton.edu
Princeton Website

Richard Rogerson is currently Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. He has previously taught economics at Arizona State University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, New York University, and the University of Rochester.

According to former colleague and Nobel Laureate Edward Prescott, Rogerson “has revolutionized a major area of economics—and unified it.” The primary focus of his research is on understanding various aspects of aggregate labor markets, including business cycle fluctuations and cross country differences in labor market outcomes. Rogerson’s work has appeared in a wide variety of prestigious economics journals, among them the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Review of Economic Dynamics.

Changes in the Distribution of Family Hours Worked Since 1950

This paper describes trends in average weekly hours of market work per person and per family in the United States between 1950 and 2005. We disaggregate married couple households by skill level to determine if there is a pattern in the hours of work by wives and husbands conditional on either husband’s wages or husband’s educational attainment. The wage measure of skill allows us to compare our findings to those of Juhn and Murphy (1997), who report on trends in family labor using a different data set. The educational measure of skill allows us to construct a longer time series. We find several interesting patterns. The married women with the largest increase in market hours are those with high-skilled husbands. When we compare households with different skill mixes, we also find dramatic differences in the time paths, with higher skill households having the largest increase in average hours over time.

Lifetime Aggregate Labor Supply with Endogenous Workweek Length

This paper studies lifetime aggregate labor supply with endogenous workweek length. Such a theory is needed to evaluate various government policies. A key feature of our model is a nonlinear mapping from hours worked to labor services. This gives rise to an endogenous workweek that can differ across occupations. The theory determines what fraction of the lifetime an individual works, not when. We find that constraints on workweek length have different consequences for total hours than total labor services. Also, we find that policies designed to increase the length of the working life may not increase aggregate lifetime labor supply.

Changes in Hours Worked, 1950-2000

This article describes changes in the number of average weekly hours of market work per person in the United States since World War II. Overall, this number has been roughly constant; for various groups, however, it has shifted dramatically—from males to females, from older people to younger people, and from single- to married-person households. The article provides a detailed look at how the lifetime pattern of work hours has changed since 1950 for different demographic groups. This article also documents several factors that lead to the reallocation of hours worked across groups: increases in relative wages of females to males; technological innovations that shift female labor from the home to the market; increases in Social Security benefits to retired workers; and changes in family structure. The data presented are based on those collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census during the 1950–2000 decennial censuses.

Changes in Hours Worked Since 1950

This article describes changes in the number of average weekly hours of market work per person in the United States since World War II. Overall, this number has been roughly constant; for various groups, however, it has shifted dramatically—from males to females, from older people to younger people, and from single- to married-person households. The article provides a unique look at how the lifetime pattern of work hours has changed since 1950 for different demographic groups. The article also documents several factors that may be related to the changes in hours worked: simultaneous changes in Social Security benefits, fertility rates, and family structure. The data presented are based on those collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census during the 1950–90 decennial censuses.

Can the Mortensen-Pissarides Matching Model Match the Business Cycle Facts?

We examine whether the Mortensen-Pissarides matching model can account for the business cycle facts on employment, job creation, and job destruction. A novel feature of our analysis is its emphasis on the reduced-form implications of the matching model. Our main finding is that the model can account for the business cycle facts, but only if the average duration of a nonemployment spell is relatively high—about nine months or longer.

An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy

We estimate a dynamic general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy that includes an explicit household production sector and stochastic fiscal variables. We use our estimates to investigate two issues. First, we analyze how well the model accounts for aggregate fluctuations. We find that household production has a significant impact and reject a nested specification in which changes in the home production technology do not matter for market variables. Second, we study the effects of some simple fiscal policy experiments and show that the model generates different predictions for the effects of tax changes than similar models without home production.

Estimating Substitution Elasticities in Household Production Models

Dynamic general equilibrium models that include explicit household production sectors provide a useful framework within which to analyze a variety of macroeconomic issues. However, some implications of these models depend critically on parameters, including the elasticity of substitution between market and home consumption goods, about which there is little information in the literature. Using the PSID, we estimate these parameters for single males, single females, and married couples. At least for single females and married couples, the results indicate a high enough substitution elasticity that including home production will make a significant difference in applied general equilibrium theory.

On the Political Economy of Education Subsidies

Standard models of public education provision predict an implicit transfer of resources from higher income individuals toward lower income individuals. Many studies have documented that public higher education involves a transfer in the reverse direction. We show that this pattern of redistribution is an equilibrium outcome in a model in which education is only partially publicly provided and individuals vote over the extent to which it is subsidized. We show that increased inequality in the income distribution makes this outcome more likely and that the efficiency implications of this exclusion depend on the wealth of the economy.

Putting Home Economics Into Macroeconomics

The implications of adding household production to an otherwise standard real business cycle model are explored in this article. The model developed treats the business and household sectors symmetrically. In particular, both sectors use capital and labor to produce output. The article finds that the household production model can outperform the standard model in accounting for several aspects of U.S. business cycle fluctuations.

Household Production and Taxation in the Stochastic Growth Model

We estimate a dynamic general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy that includes an explicit household production sector. We use these estimates to investigate two issues. First, we analyze how well the model accounts for aggregate fluctuations. Second, we use the model to study the effects of fiscal policy. We find household production has a significant impact, and reject a nested specification in which changes in the home production technology do not matter for market variables. The model generates very different predictions for the effects of tax changes than similar models without home production.

Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations

This paper explores some macroeconomic implications of including household production in an otherwise standard real business cycle model. We calibrate the model based on microeconomic evidence and long run considerations, simulate it, and examine its statistical properties Our finding is that introducing home production significantly improves the quantitative performance of the standard model along several dimensions. It also implies a very different interpretation of the nature of aggregate fluctuations.

A Note on Labor Contracts with Private Information and Household Production

A classic result in the theory of implicit contract models with asymmetric information is that “underemployment” results if and only if leisure is an inferior good. We introduce household production into the standard implicit contract model and show that we can have underemployment at the same time that leisure is a normal good.