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Cyclical Variation in Labor Hours and Productivity Using the ATUS

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  • Michael C. Burda
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh
  • Jay Stewart

Abstract

We examine monthly variation in weekly work hours using data from 2003 to 2010. The data sources include the Current Population Survey (CPS) on hours/worker, the Current Employment Survey (CES) on hours/job, and the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) on both. The ATUS data minimize recall difficulties and constrain hours of work to accord with total available time. The ATUS hours/worker are less cyclical than the CPS series, but the hours/job are more cyclical than the CES series. We present alternative estimates of productivity based on ATUS data, and find that it is more pro-cyclical than other productivity measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael C. Burda & Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jay Stewart, 2013. "Cyclical Variation in Labor Hours and Productivity Using the ATUS," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 99-104, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:99-104 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.99
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    2. Fay, Jon A & Medoff, James L, 1985. "Labor and Output over the Business Cycle: Some Direct Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 638-655.
    3. 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, pages 471-522.
    4. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2012. "The Labor Productivity Puzzle," Book Chapters,in: Lee E. Ohanian & John B. Taylor & Ian J. Wright (ed.), Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, chapter 6 Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    5. Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2010. "Why Do BLS Hours Series Tell Different Stories About Trends in Hours Worked?," NBER Chapters,in: Labor in the New Economy, pages 343-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mark A. Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Time Use During Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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, pages 471-522.
    8. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 2017. "Macroeconomics: a European Text," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 7, number 9780198737513.
    9. Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "Rising Labor Productivity during the 2008-9 Recession," NBER Working Papers 17584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
    11. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2011. "Productivity And The Labor Market: Comovement Over The Business Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 603-619, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Poeschel, Friedrich, 2012. "Assortative matching through signals," IAB Discussion Paper 201215, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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