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Do Labor Markets Provide Enough Short-Hour Jobs? An Analysis of Work Hours and Work Incentives

  • Rebitzer, James B
  • Taylor, Lowell J

This paper examines the role that work incentives play in the determination of work hours. The authors use a conventional efficiency wage model to analyze how firms respond to worker preferences regarding wage-hours packages. In contrast to previous work, they study markets in which workers have heterogeneous preferences. In this context, the authors demonstrate that job offers will specify both wages and work hours and many individuals will not be able to work their preferred number of hours. They show that the labor-market equilibrium may be characterized by a less than optimal number of short-hour jobs. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 33 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 257-73

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:2:p:257-73
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  1. Dickens, William T, et al, 1989. "Employee Crime and the Monitoring Puzzle," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(3), pages 331-47, July.
  2. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, March.
  3. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Christina H. Paxson, 1987. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Tradeoffs," NBER Working Papers 2121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1991. "The Effect of Hours Constraints on Labor Supply Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 605-11, November.
  6. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy,Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 376-414, July.
  7. Joseph Altonji & Christina Paxson, 1985. "Job Characteristics and Hours of Work," Working Papers 578, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Shulamit Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1987. "Constraints on the Choice of Work Hours: Agency vs. Specific-Capital," NBER Working Papers 2238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Lawrence F. Katz, 1988. "Workers' Trust Funds and the Logic of Wage Profiles," NBER Working Papers 2548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
  11. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
  12. Levine, David I, 1989. "Just-Cause Employment Policies When Unemployment Is a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 902-05, September.
  13. Lang, Kevin, 1989. "Why was there mandatory retirement?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 127-136, June.
  14. Levine, David I, 1991. "Just-Cause Employment Policies in the Presence of Worker Adverse Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 294-305, July.
  15. William T. Dickens & Shelly J. Lundberg, 1985. "Hours Restrictions and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 1638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Shulamit B. Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1995. "The Causes of Hours Constraints: Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 914-28, November.
  17. James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor, 1991. "Work Incentives and the Demand for Primary and Contingent Labor," NBER Working Papers 3647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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