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Work Hours, Wages, and Vacation Leave

  • Joseph G. Altonji
  • Emiko Usui

Using 1975-91 data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the authors provide a set of facts about vacation leave. They show that on average, vacation time taken rose one-to-one with paid vacation, although with variation by year; annual hours worked fell by about one full-time week with every week of paid vacation; the amount by which vacation time taken exceeded time paid was highest for women, union members, and government workers; paid vacation weeks were positively associated with hourly wage rates and, to a lesser extent, with nonwage compensation; and vacation time taken was weakly countercyclical. Vacation leave seems to have been determined by broad employer policy rather than by negotiation between the worker and the firm. In particular, it was strongly related to seniority but depended very little on labor market experience, and for job changers it was only weakly related to vacation on the previous job.

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Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 408-437

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:60:y:2007:i:3:p:408-437
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