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Understanding the Workweek of Foreign Born Workers in the United States

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  • Lozano, Fernando A.

    ()
    (Pomona College)

Abstract

I analyze the length of the workweek of foreign-born workers in the U.S. I concentrate on workers supplying long hours of work − 50 or more weekly hours and document that immigrants are less likely than natives to work long hours. Surprisingly, these differences are greatest among highly educated and salary paid workers, and persists even after conditioning for demographic characteristics. I explain these differences with two within occupation characteristics. First, relative to natives, immigrants are less likely to supply long work weeks if they work in occupations where the immigrant-native earnings differential is big. Second, immigrants are also less likely to supply long work weeks when they work in occupations with a wide dispersion of earnings. This second result is important, because the occupation dispersion of earnings has been used to characterize changes of the worker's earnings over the worker life cycle (Bell and Freeman, 2001; Kuhn and Lozano, 2008), and a good measure of the incentives to supply long hours of 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 4317.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2010, 8 (1), 83-104
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4317

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Keywords: hours of work; immigrants;

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References

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  1. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
  2. Bratti, Massimiliano & Staffolani, Stefano, 2005. "Effort-Based Career Opportunities and Working Time," IZA Discussion Papers 1474, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
  4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2005. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Working Papers 11512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1982. "The earnings of male hispanic immigrants in the United States," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 343-353, April.
  6. Bell, Linda A. & Freeman, Richard B., 2001. "The incentive for working hard: explaining hours worked differences in the US and Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-202, May.
  7. Gordon H Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2010. "The Great Mexican Emigration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 798-810, November.
  8. Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Return Migration, Wage Differentials, and the Optimal Migration Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Susan Johnson & Peter Kuhn, 2004. "Increasing Male Earnings Inequality in Canada and the United States, 1981­1997: The Role of Hours Changes versus Wage Changes," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(2), pages 155-176, June.
  10. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-45, April.
  11. DaVanzo, Julie, 1983. "Repeat Migration in the United States: Who Moves Back and Who Moves On?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 552-59, November.
  12. Altonji, Joseph G & Paxson, Christina H, 1988. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Trade-Offs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 254-76, April.
  13. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. "Time, Salary, and Incentive Payoffs in Labor Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 25-44, January.
  14. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  15. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
  17. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2003. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 429-447, March.
  18. Dustmann, C, 1993. "Earnings Adjustment of Temporary Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 153-68, May.
  19. Peter Kuhn & Fernando Lozano, 2008. "The Expanding Workweek? Understanding Trends in Long Work Hours among U.S. Men, 1979-2006," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 311-343, 04.
  20. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  21. 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. Ribar, David C., 2012. "Immigrants' Time Use: A Survey of Methods and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 6931, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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