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The Time and Timing Costs of Market Work, and their Implications for Retirement

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  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

    ()
    (University of Texas at Austin, Royal Holloway)

Abstract

Retirement ages among older Americans have only recently begun to increase after a precipitous fifty-year decline. Early retirement may result from incentives provided by retirement systems; but it may also result from the rigidities imposed by market work schedules. Using the American Time Use Survey of 2003 and 2004, I first examine whether additional market work is neutral with respect to the mix of non-market activities. The estimates indicate that there are fixed time costs of remaining in the labor market that alter the pattern of non-market activities, reducing leisure time and mostly increasing time devoted to household production. Market work also alters the timing of a fixed amount of non-market activities during the day, away from the schedule chosen when timing constraints imposed by market work do not exist. All of these effects are mitigated by higher family income, presumably because higher-income people can purchase market substitutes that enable them to overcome the fixed time costs of market work.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2030.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'A Structural Model of the Fixed Time Costs of Market Work' (with Stephen G. Donald) in: Economics Letters, 2009, 104 (3), 125-128
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2030

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Keywords: household production; non-market activity; labor-force behavior;

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  1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1996. "The Timing of Work Time Over Time," NBER Working Papers 5855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2008. "The Demand for Variety: A Household Production Perspective," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 562-572, August.
  3. Richard B. Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2005. "Marketization of household production and the EU-US gap in work," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 6-50, 01.
  4. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1999. "The Timing of Work over Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 37-66, January.
  5. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1990. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 922-43, October.
  6. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "Minimum Hours Constraints, Job Requirements and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 10876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
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