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Changes in hours worked, 1950?2000

  • Ellen R. McGrattan
  • Richard Rogerson

This article describes changes in the number of average weekly hours of market work per person in the United States since World War II. Overall, this number has been roughly constant; for various groups, however, it has shifted dramatically - from males to females, from older people to younger people, and from single- to married-person households. The article provides a detailed look at how the lifetime pattern of work hours has changed since 1950 for different demographic groups. This article also documents several factors that lead to the reallocation of hours worked across groups: increases in relative wages of females to males; technological innovations that shift female labor from the home to the market; increases in Social Security benefits to retired workers; and changes in family structure. The data presented are based on those collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census during the 1950?2000 decennial censuses.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its journal Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): Jul ()
Pages: 14-33

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:2004:i:jul:p:14-33:n:v.28no.1
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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2002. "Engines of Liberation," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 2, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  2. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  3. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra & Olivetti, Claudia, 2002. "Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labour and Education Choices," CEPR Discussion Papers 3592, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1996. "Retirement Incentives: The Interaction between Employer-Provided Pensions, Social Security, and Retiree Health Benefits," NBER Chapters, in: The Economic Effects of Aging in the United States and Japan, pages 261-293 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2000. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," NBER Working Papers 7527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 557-587, October.
  7. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557.
  8. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, March.
  9. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael P, 1985. "Time-Series Growth in the Female Labor Force," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S59-90, January.
  11. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson, 1998. "Changes in hours worked since 1950," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-19.
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