Ian Crawford, Oxford University

Random Fields and Labour Supply


Microeconomic theory focuses on the behaviour of individuals whilst empirical work often focuses on the behaviour of estimated features of population joint distributions (e.g. conditional expectations and conditional quantiles). It is possible to tie the behaviour of the individual to the behaviour of a statistic by making assumptions, but these assumptions are neither always testable nor manifestly plausible. This paper studies methods for modelling individual behaviour at the level of the individual using panels. In a well-studied dataset describing labour supply decisions it shows that true individual heterogeneity does not satisfy the assumptions normally required for identification. This paper offers an alternative approach based on Random Fields.

Ian Crawford is a professor of Economics at Nuffield College, Oxford University.
He works on Applied Microeconomics. His research interests is in choice behaviour, revealed preference theory and empirical methods, index number theory and practice, behavioural economics (hyperbolic discounting, reference dependence), the analysis of experimental data and the application of elements of information theory to economics.