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The Timing of Labor Demand

  • Ana Rute Cardoso
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh
  • José Varejão

We examine the timing of firms' operations in a formal model of labor demand. Merging a variety of data sets from Portugal from 1995-2004, we describe temporal patterns of firms' demand for labor and estimate production-functions and relative labor-demand equations. The results demonstrate the existence of substitution of employment across times of the day/week and show that legislated penalties for work at irregular hours induce firms to alter their operating schedules. The results suggest a role for such penalties in an unregulated labor market, such as the United States, in which unusually large fractions of work are performed at night and on weekends.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14566.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as A. Cardoso, D. Hamermesh, J. Varejao. Annales d’économie et de statistique. Number 105/106 – Jan/Jun 2012 pp 15-34
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14566
Note: LS
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  1. José Varejão & Pedro Portugal, 2007. "Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 137-165.
  2. Morrison, C. J. & Berndt, E. R., 1981. "Short-run labor productivity in a dynamic model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 339-365, August.
  3. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Ramey, Valerie A, 1994. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 593-624, August.
  4. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  5. Hart, Robert A & Ruffell, Robin J, 1993. "The Cost of Overtime Hours in British Production Industries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(238), pages 183-201, May.
  6. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
  7. Pedro Portugal & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2006. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 988-1013, 09.
  8. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
  9. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  10. Burda, Michael C. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Weil, Philippe, 2006. "The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US," IZA Discussion Papers 2270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Trejo, Stephen J, 1991. "The Effects of Overtime Pay Regulation on Worker Compensation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 719-40, September.
  12. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  13. Kostiuk, Peter F, 1990. "Compensating Differentials for Shift Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1054-75, October.
  14. Pedro Portugal & José Varejão, 2010. "The Hidden Side of Temporary Employment: Fixed-term Contracts as a Screening Device," Working Papers w201029, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  15. Stephen Nickell, 2008. "Is the U.S. Labor Market Really That Exceptional? A Review of Richard Freeman," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 384-95, June.
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