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Trend in Hours: The U.S. from 1900 to 1950

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Abstract

During the first half of the 20th century the workweek in the United States declined, and the distribution of hours across wage deciles narrowed. At the same time, the distribution of wages narrowed too. The hypothesis proposed is (i) Households have access to an increasing number of leisure activities which enhance the value of non-market time; (ii) The rise of education accounts for the narrowing of the wage and hours distribution. Such mechanisms, embedded into a neoclassical growth model, quantitatively account for the observations. The rise in wages is the main contributor to the decline in hours. The decline in the price of leisure goods is second in importance, yet its contribution is large.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 11.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision: Nov 2005
Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:11

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Keywords: Hours worked; leisure; home production; technological progress;

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References

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  1. repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2003. "Engines of Liberation," RCER Working Papers 503, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Moshe Hazan, 2006. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Input: Data and Implications," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_065, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  4. Jess Benhabib & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1991. "Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations," Staff Report 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  8. Valerie Ramey & Neville Francis, 2006. "A Century of Work and Leisure," Working Papers id:546, eSocialSciences.
  9. Alexander Ueberfeldt, 2006. "Working Time over the 20th Century," Working Papers 06-18, Bank of Canada.
  10. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
  11. John Laitner & Dan Silverman, 2005. "Estimating Life—Cycle Parameters from Consumption Behavior at Retirement”," Working Papers wp099, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  12. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  13. Karen Kopecky, 2005. "The Trend in Retirement," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 12, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  14. Goldin, Claudia & Margo, Robert A, 1992. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid-century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 1-34, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades," Working Papers 06-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
  5. Galindev, Ragchaasuren, 2008. "The Evolution of Population, Technology and Output," MPRA Paper 17116, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Aug 2009.
  6. Hazan, Moshe, 2006. "Longevity and Lifetime Labour Input: Data and Implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 5963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2012. "A Century of Human Capital and Hours," Working Papers tecipa-460, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Bar, Michael & Leukhina, Oksana, 2011. "On the time allocation of married couples since 1960," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 491-510.

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