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How Do Average Hours Worked Vary with Development? Cross-Country Evidence and Implications

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  • Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola
  • Bick, Alexander
  • Lagakos, David

Abstract

How do average hours worked vary across the world income distribution? To answer this question, we build a new internationally comparable database of hours worked covering countries of all income levels. We document that average hours worked per adult are substantially higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries. This pattern holds for both men and women, for adults of all ages and education levels, and along both the extensive margin (employment rates) and intensive margin (hours per worker). Our results imply that labor productivity and welfare differences across countries are larger than suggested by differences in consumption per capita.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Bick, Alexander & Lagakos, David, 2016. "How Do Average Hours Worked Vary with Development? Cross-Country Evidence and Implications," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145576, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Torres, Javier & Agüero, Jorge M., 2017. "Stylized Facts about the Quantity and Quality of Parental Time Investments on the Skill Formation of Their Children," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 8215, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Per Krusell & Jonna Olsson & Timo Boppart, 2017. "Labor Supply in the Future: Who Will Work?," 2017 Meeting Papers 157, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Chaoran Chen & Diego Restuccia & Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2023. "Land Misallocation and Productivity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 441-465, April.
    5. Federico Rossi, 2019. "The Relative Efficiency of Skilled Labor across Countries: Measurement and Interpretation," 2019 Meeting Papers 829, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. De Magalhães, Leandro & Koh, Dongya & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Räul, 2019. "The costs of consumption smoothing: less schooling and less nutrition," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 181-208, September.
    7. Kindermann, Fabian & Mayr, Lukas & Sachs, Dominik, 2020. "Inheritance taxation and wealth effects on the labor supply of heirs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    8. Tesfaselassie, Mewael F., 2016. "The impact of disembodied technological progress on working hours," Kiel Working Papers 2026, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    9. Andrew Sharpe & James Uguccioni, 2017. "Decomposing the Productivity Wage Nexus in Selected OECD Countries, 1986-2013," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 32, pages 25-43, Spring.
    10. Li, Qian & Shim, Myungkyu & Wen, Yongheng, 2017. "The implication of subsistence consumption for economic welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 30-33.
    11. Cooley, Thomas & Henriksen, Espen, 2018. "The demographic deficit," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 45-62.
    12. Javier Torres & Jorge M. Agüero, 2017. "Stylized Facts about the Quantity and Quality of Parental Time Investments on the Skill Formation of Their Children," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 98156, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Adam Chlebisz & Mateusz Mierzejewski, 2020. "Features of the labour market in the context of European diversity," Wroclaw Review of Law, Administration & Economics, Sciendo, vol. 10(1), pages 48-60, December.
    14. Hansen, G.D. & Ohanian, L.E., 2016. "Neoclassical Models in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2043-2130, Elsevier.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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