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Whose Preferences Are Revealed in Hours of Work?

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  • Pencavel, John

    () (Stanford University)

Abstract

It has become orthodox in economics research to interpret the association between hourly earnings and working hours as the expression of the preferences of workers. This convention originated in H. Gregg Lewis' explanation for the decline in hours of work since the nineteenth century. His explanation rested on an explicit resolution of the identification problem inherent in any quantity (hours) - price (wage) relation. For over forty years, researchers have neglected this identification problem with the result that the findings in the purported "labor supply" literature are of questionable value.

Suggested Citation

  • Pencavel, John, 2015. "Whose Preferences Are Revealed in Hours of Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 9182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9182
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    Cited by:

    1. Knaus, Michael C. & Otterbach, Steffen, 2016. "Work Hour Mismatch and Job Mobility: Adjustment Channels and Resolution Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 9735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Lechmann, Daniel S. J., 2017. "Estimating labor supply in self-employment: Pitfalls and resolutions," Discussion Papers 101, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    3. Tazhitdinova, Alisa, 2015. "Adjust Me if I Can’t: The Effect of Firm Incentives on Labor Supply Responses to Taxes," MPRA Paper 81611, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor demand; labor supply; wages; working hours; identification;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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