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Robust Inference for the Frisch Labor Supply Elasticity
The Frisch labor supply elasticity plays a key role in many economic policy debates, but its magnitude remains controversial. Many studies estimate the Frisch elasticity using 2SLS regressions of hours changes on wage changes. But a little appreciated power asymmetry property of 2SLS causes estimates to appear spuriously imprecise when they are shifted away from the OLS bias. This makes it difficult for a 2SLS t-test to detect a true positive Frisch elasticity. We illustrate this problem in an application to NLSY97 data. We obtain an estimate of 0.60 for young men, but the t-test indicates it ...