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European vs. American Hours Worked: Assessing the Role of the Extensive and Intensive Margins

  • Langot, François

    ()

    (University of Le Mans)

  • Quintero Rojas, Coralia

    ()

    (University of Le Mans)

Europeans have worked less than Americans since the 1970s. In this paper, we quantify the relative importance of the extensive and intensive margins of aggregate hours of market work on the observed differences. Our counterfactual exercises show that the two dimensions of the extensive margin, the employment rate and the participation rate, explain the most of the total-hours-gap between regions. Moreover, both ratios have similar weight. Conversely, the intensive margin, measured by the number of hours worked per employee, has the smallest role.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3846.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3846
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  1. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Langot, François & Quintero Rojas, Coralia, 2008. "Explaining the Evolution of Hours Worked and Employment across OECD Countries: An Equilibrium Search Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3364, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345.
  4. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
  5. Lee Ohanian & Andrea Raffo & Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Long-Term Changes in Labor Supply and Taxes: Evidence from OECD Countries, 1956-2004," NBER Working Papers 12786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Two Questions about European Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 1-29, 01.
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