IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Tradeoffs

Listed author(s):
  • Joseph G. Altonji
  • Christina H. Paxson

In a labor market in which firms offer tied hours-wage packages and there is substantial dispersion in the wage offers associated with a particular type of job, the best job available to a worker at a point in time may pay well but require an hours level which is far from the worker's labor supply schedule, or pay poorly but offer desirable hours. Intuitively, one would expect hours constraints to influence the pattern of wage-hours tradeoffs which occur when workers quit to new jobs. Constrained workers may be willing to sacrifice wage gains for better hours. Likewise, workers may accept jobs offering undesirable hours only if the associated wage gains are large. We investigate this issue empirically by examining whether overemployment (underemployment) on the initial job increases (reduces) the partial effect on the wage gain of a positive change in hours for those who quit. We also examine whether overemployment (underemployment) on the new job increases (reduces) the partial effect on the wage gain of a positive change in hours for those who quit. Despite the limitations imposed by small sample sizes and lack of information on the magnitude of hours constraints, our results support the view that an individual requires compensation to work in jobs which, given the individual's particular preferences, offer unattractive hours.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2121.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 1987
Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, vol. 6, no. 2, pp 254-276, April 1988. Journal of Human Resources, 27 no.2 (Spring 1992): 256-278
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2121
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2121. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.