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The Flexibility of the Workweek in the United States: Evidence from the FIFA World Cup

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  • Lozano, Fernando A.

    () (Pomona College)

Abstract

In this paper I explore the flexibility of the work week in the United States, using the FIFA Soccer World Cup as a natural experiment. My empirical strategy exploits the exogenous variation that arises due to which country hosts the World Cup, as this will determine the time games are broadcast across different time zones in the United States. The hour of the day when games are broadcast differentially affects hours of work across different time zones. Further, the calendar timing of the World Cup allows me to compare labor market outcomes in June/July for a worker in World Cup year t, with the outcomes in June/July for a worker in non-World Cup years t + 1, t + 2 and t + 3. My results highlight the importance of the worker's pay frequency in their work week flexibility, as all differences in hours of work due to the World Cup are concentrated among salary paid workers, while hourly paid workers do not change their market hours during the World Cup. Also, my results show that after controlling for observable demographic characteristics as well as year and month fixed effects, a worker reduces on average his weekly number of hours of work during the World Cup by statistically significant estimates that range from 9 weekly minutes to 28 weekly minutes, depending on specification choice and time of the day during which World Cup games are broadcast live in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Lozano, Fernando A., 2009. "The Flexibility of the Workweek in the United States: Evidence from the FIFA World Cup," IZA Discussion Papers 4217, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4217
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2004. "Reporting sick: are sporting events contagious?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 809-823.
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    3. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Caitlin Knowles Myers & Mark L. Pocock, 2008. "Cues for Timing and Coordination: Latitude, Letterman, and Longitude," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 223-246, April.
    4. Peter Kuhn & Fernando Lozano, 2008. "The Expanding Workweek? Understanding Trends in Long Work Hours among U.S. Men, 1979-2006," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 311-343, April.
    5. Alex Edmans & Diego García & Øyvind Norli, 2007. "Sports Sentiment and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1967-1998, August.
    6. George J. Borjas, 1980. "The Relationship between Wages and Weekly Hours of Work: The Role of Division Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 409-423.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ove:journl:aid:11247 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Koning Ruud H. & Maennig Wolfgang, 2012. "Guest Editorial," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(3), pages 204-209, June.
    3. C Green & M Navarro Paniagua, 2010. "Does Raising the School Leaving Age Reduce Teacher Effort? A Note from a Policy Experiment," Working Papers 609674, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    4. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2014. "Is soccer good for you? The motivational impact of big sporting events on the unemployed," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 66-69.
    5. Inmaculada Garcia & Colin Green & Maria Navarro Paniagua, 2012. "New Estimates of the Effect of Temporary Employment on Absenteeism," Working Papers 24151321, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hours of work; schedule flexibility; FIFA World Cup;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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