Understanding Growth and Inequality Trends: The Role of Labour Supply in the US and Germany
Between 1980 and 2000, average actual working hours per adult rose by 234 in the United States while falling by 170 in Germany. These trends imply that growth in per capita GDP may be a poor indicator of trends in average economic well-being and that trends in money income inequality may misrepresent trends in the inequality of economic well-being. Is greater inequality in the US the incentive that motivates greater work effort by Americans? Differentials in average usual working hours largely arise from differences in workforce participation -- particularly among women and older men. Except for the extreme lower tail, the distribution of usual working hours of prime age males is essentially identical and constant in Germany and the US -- which implies that the grea ter inequality of earnings in the US has no noticeable incentive effect on the labour supply of workers.
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Volume (Year): 29 (2003)
Issue (Month): s1 (January)
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References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Osberg, Lars & Phipps, Shelley, 1993. "Labour Supply with Quantity Constraints: Estimates from a Large Sample of Canadian Workers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(2), pages 269-291, April.
- Bell, Linda A. & Freeman, Richard B., 2001.
"The incentive for working hard: explaining hours worked differences in the US and Germany,"
Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-202, May.
- Linda A. Bell & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "The Incentive for Working Hard: Explaining Hours Worked Differences in the U.S. and Germany," NBER Working Papers 8051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh, 1997. "Measuring Quality Of Life: Economic, Social, And Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 189-216, January.
- Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-121, May.
- Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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