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Differences in US-German Time-Allocation: Why Do Americans Work Longer Hours than Germans?

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  • Schettkat, Ronald

    () (University of Wuppertal)

Abstract

The conventional view is that Americans work longer hours than Germans and other Europeans but when time in household production is included, overall working time is very similar on both sides of the Atlantic. Americans spend more time on market work but German invest more in household production. This paper examines whether these differences in the allocation of time can be explained by differences in the incentive structure, this is by the taxwedge and differences in the wage differentials, as economic theory suggests. Its analysis of unique time-use data reveals that the differences in time-allocation patterns can indeed be explained by economic variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Schettkat, Ronald, 2003. "Differences in US-German Time-Allocation: Why Do Americans Work Longer Hours than Germans?," IZA Discussion Papers 697, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp697
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. Jacobs, 2008. "Book Review," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 215-217, June.
    2. Freeman, Richard & Schettkat, Ronald, 2001. "Skill Compression, Wage Differentials, and Employment: Germany vs the US," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 582-603, July.
    3. Freeman, Richard B & Schettkat, Ronald, 2001. " Marketization of Production and the US-Europe Employment Gap," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 647-670, Special I.
    4. Gronau, Reuben, 1977. "Leisure, Home Production, and Work-The Theory of the Allocation of Time Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1099-1123, December.
    5. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    6. Eisner, Robert, 1988. "Extended Accounts for National Income and Product," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1611-1684, December.
    7. Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Locay, Luis, 1990. "Economic Development and the Division of Production between Households and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 965-982, October.
    9. Stafford, Frank & Duncan, Greg J., 1979. "The Use of Time and Technology by Households in the United States," Working Paper Series 21, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. Rabe, Birgitta, 2000. "Implementation von Arbeitsmarktpoltik durch Verhandlungen: eine spieltheoretische Analyse," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 122924, June.
    11. Pollak, Robert A & Wachter, Michael L, 1975. "The Relevance of the Household Production Function and Its Implications for the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 255-277, April.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Americans work more than Europeans…
      by pushmedia1 in The Ambrosini Critique on 2007-07-27 04:08:50

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    Cited by:

    1. Henrekson, Magnus & Dreber, Anna, 2004. "Female Career Success: Institutions, Path Dependence and Psychology," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 574, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 25 Jan 2007.
    2. Ronald Schettkat & Joep Damen, 2004. "Demand Patterns and Employment Structures an Aggregate Analysis," DEMPATEM Working Papers wp11, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    3. Altavilla, Carlo & Garofalo, Antonio & Vinci, Concetto Paolo, 2005. "Evaluating the effects of working hours on employment and wages," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 647-664, September.
    4. Steven J. Davis & Magnus Henrekson, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 10509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Leslie S. Stratton, 2007. "Is Marriage Poisonous? Are Relationships Taxing? An Analysis of the Male Marital Wage Differential in Denmark," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 412-433, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. Brian McCaig & Adonis Yatchew, 2007. "International welfare comparisons and nonparametric testing of multivariate stochastic dominance," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(5), pages 951-969.
    9. Bonke, Jens & Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2003. "Timing and Flexibility of Housework and Men and Women's Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 860, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    time use; working hours; employment; household production;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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