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The Expanding Workweek? Understanding Trends in Long Work Hours Among U.S. Men, 1979-2004

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  • Kuhn, Peter J.

    ()
    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Lozano, Fernando A.

    ()
    (Pomona College)

Abstract

After declining for most of the century, the share of employed American men regularly working more than 50 hours per week began to increase around 1970. This trend has been especially pronounced among highly educated, high-wage, salaried, and older men. Using two decades of CPS data, we rule out a number of factors, including business cycles, changes in observed labor force characteristics, and changes in the level of men’s real hourly earnings as primary explanations of this trend. Instead we argue that increases in salaried men’s marginal incentives to supply hours beyond 40 accounted for the recent rise. Since these increases were accompanied by a rough constancy in real earnings at 40 hours, they can be interpreted as a compensated wage increase.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1924.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2008, 26 (2), 311-343
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1924

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Keywords: labor supply; work hours;

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References

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  1. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Microfoundations and macro implications of indivisible labor," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Michael J. Boskin, 1998. "Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
  3. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  4. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2000. "12 Million Salaried Workers Are Missing," NBER Working Papers 8016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  6. Brent R. Moulton, 1996. "Bias in the Consumer Price Index: What Is the Evidence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 159-177, Fall.
  7. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  8. George J. Borjas, 1980. "The Relationship between Wages and Weekly Hours of Work: The Role of Division Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 409-423.
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Cited by:
  1. Matteo Cervellati & Joan Esteban & Laurence Kranich, 2007. "The Social Contract with Endogenous Sentiments," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 702.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Frazis, Harley & Stewart, Jay, 2010. "Why Do BLS Hours Series Tell Different Stories About Trends in Hours Worked?," IZA Discussion Papers 4704, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Lozano, Fernando A., 2012. "What Happened to God's Time? The Evolution of Secularism and Hours of Work in America, Evidence from Religious Holidays," IZA Discussion Papers 6552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Noritaka Kudoh & Masaru Sasaki, 2007. "Employment and Hours of Work," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 07-35, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  5. Claudio Michelacci & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2007. "The Effects Of Labor Market Conditions On Working Time: The Us-Eu Experience," Working Papers wp2007_0705, CEMFI.
  6. Christiana Stoddard & Peter Kuhn, 2006. "Incentives and Effort in the Public Sector: Have U.S. Education Reforms Increased Teachers' Work Hours?," NBER Working Papers 11970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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