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Trend in Hours: The U.S. from 1900 to 1950

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Abstract

During the first half of the 20th century the workweek in the United States declined, and the distribution of hours across wage deciles narrowed. At the same time, the distribution of wages narrowed too. The hypothesis proposed is (i) Households have access to an increasing number of leisure activities which enhance the value of non-market time; (ii) The rise of education accounts for the narrowing of the wage and hours distribution. Such mechanisms, embedded into a neoclassical growth model, quantitatively account for the observations. The rise in wages is the main contributor to the decline in hours. The decline in the price of leisure goods is second in importance, yet its contribution is large.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "Trend in Hours: The U.S. from 1900 to 1950," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 11, Economie d'Avant Garde, revised Nov 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Bridgman, 2016. "Engines of Leisure," BEA Working Papers 0137, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    2. Diego Restuccia & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2013. "A Century Of Human Capital And Hours," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1849-1866, July.
    3. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Work Hours in Chinese Enterprises: Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," Monash Economics Working Papers 10-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    4. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
    5. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
    6. Edgar Cruz & Xavier Raurich, 2018. "Leisure Time and the Sectoral Composition of Employment," UB Economics Working Papers 2018/373, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    7. Galindev, Ragchaasuren, 2008. "The Evolution of Population, Technology and Output," MPRA Paper 17116, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Aug 2009.
    8. Thureson, Disa, 2016. "Household production and the Elasticity of Marginal Utility of Consumption," Working papers in Transport Economics 2016:10, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    9. Cubas, German, 2016. "Distortions, infrastructure, and female labor supply in developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 194-215.
    10. John A. Knowles, 2013. "Why are Married Men Working So Much? An Aggregate Analysis of Intra-Household Bargaining and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1055-1085.
    11. Moshe Hazan, 2006. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Input: Data and Implications," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_065, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    12. Ricardo Manuel Santos, 2014. "Dynamic Effects of Labor Supply: a mechanism explaining cross-sectional differences in hours," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 630-653, October.
    13. Bar, Michael & Leukhina, Oksana, 2011. "On the time allocation of married couples since 1960," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 491-510.
    14. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2015. "Work and Consumption in an Era of Unbalanced Technological Advance," NBER Working Papers 21713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Benjamin Bridgman, 2018. "Is Productivity on Vacation? The Impact of the Digital Economy on the Value of Leisure," BEA Working Papers 0148, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    16. Claudio Michelacci & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2012. "Intertemporal Labour Supply with Search Frictions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 899-931.
    17. Yukawa, Shiho, 2012. "教養娯楽価格が出産に与える影響
      [The Effect of Recreational Goods Price on Fertility]
      ," MPRA Paper 35808, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hours worked; leisure; home production; technological progress;

    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
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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