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Cyclical Variation in Labor Hours and Productivity Using the ATUS

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  • Michael C. Burda
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh
  • Jay Stewart

Abstract

We examine monthly variation in weekly work hours using data for 2003-10 from the Current Population Survey (CPS) on hours/worker, from the Current Employment Survey (CES) on hours/job, and from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) on both. The ATUS data minimize recall difficulties and constrain hours of work to accord with total available time. The ATUS hours/worker are less cyclical than the CPS series, but the hours/job are more cyclical than the CES series. We present alternative estimates of productivity based on ATUS data and find that it is more pro-cyclical than other productivity measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael C. Burda & Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jay Stewart, 2012. "Cyclical Variation in Labor Hours and Productivity Using the ATUS," NBER Working Papers 18603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18603
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    2. Fay, Jon A & Medoff, James L, 1985. "Labor and Output over the Business Cycle: Some Direct Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 638-655, September.
    3. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 2017. "Macroeconomics: a European Text," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 7, number 9780198737513.
    4. 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.
    5. Mark A. Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Time Use During Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2012. "The Labor Productivity Puzzle," Book Chapters,in: Lee E. Ohanian & John B. Taylor & Ian J. Wright (ed.), Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, chapter 6 Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    7. Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2010. "Why Do BLS Hours Series Tell Different Stories About Trends in Hours Worked?," NBER Chapters,in: Labor in the New Economy, pages 343-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "Rising Labor Productivity during the 2008-9 Recession," NBER Working Papers 17584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2011. "Productivity And The Labor Market: Comovement Over The Business Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 603-619, August.
    10. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Poeschel, Friedrich, 2012. "Assortative matching through signals," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62061, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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