Job Characteristics and Hours of Work
AbstractThis paper provides evidence that hours of work are heavily influenced by the particular job which a person holds. The empirical work consists of a comparison of the variance in the change in work hours across time intervals containing a job change with the variance in the change in hours across time periods when the job remains the same. To the extent that workers choose hours and these hours choices are influenced by shifts in individual preferences and resources, the variance in the time change of hours should not depend upon whether the worker has switched jobs. The desire to reduce or increase hours could be acted upon in the current job. On the other hand, if hours are influenced by employer preferences or if job specific characteristics dominate the labor supply decision, then hours changes should be larger when persons change jobs than when they do not. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Quality of Employment Survey, we find that hours changes are typically two to four times more variable across jobs than within jobs. This result holds for both men and women and for both quits and layoffs, is obtained for weeks per year, hours per week, and annual hours, andis not sensitive to the use of controls for a set of job characteristics (including the wage) which might influence the level of hours persons wish to supply. The findings are also inconsistent with the view that workers may costlessly adjust hours by changing jobs.The finding that the job has a large influence on work hours suggests that much greater emphasis should be given to demand factors and to job specific labor supply factors in future research on hours of work. The overwhelming emphasis upon the wage and personal characteristics inconventional labor supply analyses of work hours may in part be misplaced.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1895.
Date of creation: Apr 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Research in Labor Economics, vo. 8, Part A, pp. 1-55, 1986
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Other versions of this item:
- Joseph Altonji & Christina Paxson, 1985. "Job Characteristics and Hours of Work," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 578, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rosen, Harvey S, 1976. "Taxes in a Labor Supply Model with Joint Wage-Hours Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 44(3), pages 485-507, May.
- Topel, Robert H, 1984. "Equilibrium Earnings, Turnover, and Unemployment: New Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 500-522, October.
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