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Not Working At Work: Loafing, Unemployment and Labor Productivity

Author

Listed:
  • Burda, Michael C
  • Genadek, Katie R.
  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

Abstract

Using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) 2003-12, we estimate time spent by workers in non-work while on the job. Non-work time is substantial and varies positively with the local unemployment rate. While the average time spent by workers in non-work conditional on any positive non-work rises with the unemployment rate, the fraction of workers who report time in non-work varies pro-cyclically, declining in recessions. These results are consistent with a model in which heterogeneous workers are paid efficiency wages to refrain from loafing on the job. That model correctly predicts relationships of the incidence and conditional amounts of non-work with wage rates and measures of unemployment benefits in state data linked to the ATUS, and it is consistent with observed occupational differences in non-work.

Suggested Citation

  • Burda, Michael C & Genadek, Katie R. & Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2015. "Not Working At Work: Loafing, Unemployment and Labor Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 10712, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10712
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Not Working At Work: Loafing, Unemployment and Labor Productivity By: Burda, Michael C ; Genadek, Katie R. ; Hamermesh, Daniel S.
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2015-07-29 23:05:51

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    Cited by:

    1. John G. Fernald & J. Christina Wang, 2016. "Why Has the Cyclicality of Productivity Changed? What Does It Mean?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 465-496, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    efficiency wage; labor productivity; loafing; non-work; shirking; time use;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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