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Trends in hours: The U.S. from 1900 to 1950

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  • Vandenbroucke, Guillaume

Abstract

During the first half of the 20th century the length of the workweek in the U.S. declined, and its distribution across wage deciles narrowed. The hypothesis is twofold. First, technological progress, through the rise in wages and the decreasing cost of recreation, made it possible for the average U.S. worker to afford more time off from work. Second, changes in the wage distribution explain the changes in the distribution of hours. A general equilibrium model is built to explore whether such mechanisms can quantitatively account for the observations. The model is calibrated to the U.S. economy in 1900. It predicts 82% of the observed decline in hours, and most of the contraction in their dispersion. The decline in the price of leisure goods accounts for 7% of the total decline in hours.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 237-249

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:33:y:2009:i:1:p:237-249

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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Keywords: Hours worked Leisure Home production Technological progress;

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  2. Valerie A. Ramey & Neville Francis, 2006. "A Century of Work and Leisure," NBER Working Papers 12264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," NBER Working Papers 12082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2012. "A Century of Human Capital and Hours," Working Papers tecipa-450, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Bar, Michael & Leukhina, Oksana, 2011. "On the time allocation of married couples since 1960," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 491-510.
  4. Yukawa, Shiho, 2012. "教養娯楽価格が出産に与える影響
    [The Effect of Recreational Goods Price on Fertility]
    ," MPRA Paper 35808, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
  6. Moshe Hazan, 2006. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Input: Data and Implications," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_065, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  7. Ricardo Manuel Santos, . "Dynamic Effects of Labor Supply: a mechanism explaining cross-sectional differences in hours," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Work Hours in Chinese Enterprises: Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 10-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  9. Galindev, Ragchaasuren, 2008. "The Evolution of Population, Technology and Output," MPRA Paper 17116, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Aug 2009.
  10. John A. Knowles, 2013. "Why are Married Men Working So Much? An Aggregate Analysis of Intra-Household Bargaining and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1055-1085.

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