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Why Do Europeans Work So Little?

  • Conny Olovsson

Market work per person is roughly 10% higher in the United States than in Sweden. However, if we include the work carried out in home production, the total amount of work only differs by 1%. I set up a model and show that differences in policy-mainly taxes-can account for the discrepancy in both labor supply and home production between Sweden and the United States. These results are independent of the elasticity of labor supply. Copyright � (2009) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-2354.2008.00523.x
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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 50 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 39-61

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:50:y:2009:i:1:p:39-61
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  1. Stephen Nickell, 2004. "Employment and taxes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19955, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  4. Juster, F. Thomas & Stafford, Frank P., 1990. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioural Models, and Problems of Measurement," Working Paper Series 258, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jonsson, Magnus & Klein, Paul, 2003. "Tax distortions in Sweden and the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 711-729, August.
  7. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Structural Transformation and the Labor Market," 2006 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar, 1982. "Tax Effects versus Budget Effects on Labor Supply," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 473-89, October.
  9. Schneider, Friedrich, 2002. "The Size and Development of the Shadow Economies of 22 Transition and 21 OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 514, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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