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

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.

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Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 11.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision: Nov 2005
Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:11
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  1. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alexander Ueberfeldt, 2006. "Working Time over the 20th Century," Staff Working Papers 06-18, Bank of Canada.
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  4. Valerie A. Ramey & Neville Francis, 2009. "A Century of Work and Leisure," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 189-224, July.
  5. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," NBER Working Papers 7904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2003. "Engines of Liberation," RCER Working Papers 503, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Jess Benhabib & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1991. "Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations," Staff Report 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Karen A. Kopecky, 2006. "The Trend in Retirement," 2006 Meeting Papers 187, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. John Laitner & Dan Silverman, 2005. "Estimating Life—Cycle Parameters from Consumption Behavior at Retirement”," Working Papers wp099, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  11. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1991. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid- Century," NBER Working Papers 3817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
  13. Kydland, Finn E., 1984. "Labor-force heterogeneity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 173-208, January.
  14. Moshe Hazan, 2006. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Input: Data and Implications," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_065, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  15. Greenwood, J. & Rogerson, R. & Wright, R., 1993. "Household Production in Real Business Cycle Thoery," RCER Working Papers 347, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, December.
  17. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1993. "Working in the Market, Working at Home, and the Acquisition of Skills: A General-Equilibrium Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 893-907, September.
  18. repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
  20. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 1, Economie d'Avant Garde.
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