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Differences in US-German time-allocation: Why do Americans work longer hours than Germans?

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  • Schettkat, Ronald

Abstract

The conventional view is that Americans work longer hours than Germans and other Europeans but when time in household production is included, overall working time is very similar on both sides of the Atlantic. Americans spend more time on market work but German invest more in household production. This paper examines whether these differences in the allocation of time can be explained by differences in the incentive structure, this is by the tax-wedge and differences in the wage differentials, as economic theory suggests. Its analysis of unique time-use data reveals that the differences in time-allocation patterns can indeed be explained by economic variables. -- Nach allgemeiner Auffassung arbeiten Amerikaner länger pro Jahr als Deutsche oder andere Europäer. Wenn jedoch die Arbeit im Haushalt einbezogen wird, ist die Gesamtarbeitszeit auf beiden Seiten des Atlantiks fast gleich. Amerikaner leisten mehr Arbeitsstunden in bezahlter Arbeit, Deutsche investieren mehr Arbeitsstunden in Hausarbeit. Dieser Beitrag untersucht, ob diese unterschiedliche Arbeitszeitverteilung durch unterschiedliche Anreizstrukturen erklärt werden kann; das heißt Steuerzwänge und Lohn-/Gehaltsunterschiede, wie dies wirtschaftstheoretische Überlegungen nahe legen. Die Analyse von zeitgleichen Daten ergibt, dass Arbeitszeitverteilungsmuster tatsächlich durch ökonomische Variablen erklärt werden können.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment with number FS I 02-212.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzblpe:fsi02212

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  1. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
  2. Richard Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2002. "Marketization of Production and the US-Europe Employment Gap," CEP Discussion Papers dp0559, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. J. Jacobs, 2008. "Book Review," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 215-217, June.
  5. Richard B. Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2000. "Skill Compression, Wage Differentials and Employment: Germany vs. the US," NBER Working Papers 7610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Locay, Luis, 1990. "Economic Development and the Division of Production between Households and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 965-82, October.
  7. Pollak, Robert A & Wachter, Michael L, 1975. "The Relevance of the Household Production Function and Its Implications for the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 255-77, April.
  8. Reuben Gronau, 1976. "Leisure, Home Production and Work--The Theory of The Allocation of Time Revisited," NBER Working Papers 0137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Eisner, Robert, 1988. "Extended Accounts for National Income and Product," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1611-84, December.
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  1. Americans work more than Europeansâ?¦
    by pushmedia1 in The Ambrosini Critique on 2007-07-26 23:08:50
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Cited by:
  1. Steven J. Davis & Magnus Henrekson, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 10509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Altavilla, Carlo & Garofalo, Antonio & Vinci, Concetto Paolo, 2005. "Evaluating the effects of working hours on employment and wages," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 647-664, September.
  4. Brian McCaig & Adonis Yatchew, 2007. "International welfare comparisons and nonparametric testing of multivariate stochastic dominance," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(5), pages 951-969.
  5. 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.
  6. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina & Stratton, Leslie S., 2005. "Is Marriage Poisonous? Are Relationships Taxing? An Analysis of the Male Marital Wage Differential in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 1591, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Henrekson, Magnus & Dreber, Anna, 2004. "Female Career Success: Institutions, Path Dependence and Psychology," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 574, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 27 Jan 2005.
  8. Bonke, Jens & Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2003. "Timing and Flexibility of Housework and Men and Women's Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 860, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Ronald Schettkat & Joep Damen, 2004. "Demand Patterns and Employment Structures an Aggregate Analysis," DEMPATEM Working Papers wp11, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.

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