Changes in hours worked, 1950?2000
This article describes changes in the number of average weekly hours of market work per person in the United States since World War II. Overall, this number has been roughly constant; for various groups, however, it has shifted dramatically - from males to females, from older people to younger people, and from single- to married-person households. The article provides a detailed look at how the lifetime pattern of work hours has changed since 1950 for different demographic groups. This article also documents several factors that lead to the reallocation of hours worked across groups: ...
The business cycle and the life cycle
The paper documents how cyclical fluctuations in market work vary over the life cycle and then assesses the predictions of a life-cycle version of the growth model for those observations. The analysis yields a simple but striking finding. The main discrepancy between the model and that data lies in the inability of the model to account for fluctuations in hours for individuals in the first half of their life cycle. The predictions for those in the latter half of the life cycle are quite close to the data.
Changes in the distribution of family hours worked since 1950
This paper describes trends in average weekly hours of market work per person and per family in the United States between 1950 and 2005. We disaggregate married couple households by skill level to determine if there is a pattern in the hours of work by wives and husbands conditional on either husband's wages or on husband's educational attainment. The wage measure of skill allows us to compare our findings to those of Juhn and Murphy (1997), who report on trends in family labor using a different data set. The educational measure of skill allows us to construct a longer time series. We find ...
Work and taxes: allocation of time in OECD countries
Policymakers devote a great deal of attention to short-run fluctuations in the labor market. Central banks monitor indicators of labor market tightness in the conduct of monetary policy due to the potential implications for inflation. And fiscal authorities are concerned with the budget consequences of fluctuations in the labor market because they affect both revenues and expenditure programs. More generally, these fluctuations may be associated with significant losses in welfare. ; This article stems from a striking empirical observation about long-run variations in labor market outcomes: ...
A note on labor contracts with private information and household production
A classic result in the theory of implicit contract models with asymmetric information is that ?underemployment? results if and only if leisure is an inferior good. We introduce household production into the standard implicit contract model and show that we can have underemployment at the same time that leisure is a normal good.
Lifetime aggregate labor supply with endogenous workweek length
This paper studies lifetime aggregate labor supply with endogenous workweek length. Such a theory is needed to evaluate various government policies. A key feature of our model is a nonlinear mapping from hours worked to labor services. This gives rise to an endogenous workweek that can differ across occupations. The theory determines what fraction of the lifetime an individual works, not when. We find that constraints on workweek length have different consequences for total hours than total labor services. Also, we find that policies designed to increase the length of the working life may not ...
Putting home economics into macroeconomics
The implications of adding household production to an otherwise standard real business cycle model are explored in this article. The model developed treats the business and household sectors symmetrically. In particular, both sectors use capital and labor to produce output. The article finds that the household production model can outperform the standard model in accounting for several aspects of U.S. business cycle fluctuations. ; This article is a summary of a chapter prepared for a forthcoming book, Frontiers of Business Cycle Research, edited by Thomas F. Cooley, to be published by ...
Estimating substitution elasticities in household production models
Dynamic general equilibrium models that include explicit household production sectors provide a useful framework within which to analyze a variety of macroeconomic issues. However, some implications of these models depend critically on parameters, including the elasticity of substitution between market and home consumption goods, about which there is little information in the literature. Using the PSID, we estimate these parameters for single males, single females, and married couples. At least for single females and married couples, the results indicate a high enough substitution elasticity ...
Product market regulation and market work: a benchmark analysis
Recent empirical work finds a negative correlation between product market regulation and aggregate employment. We examine the effect of product market regulations on hours worked in a benchmark aggregate model of time allocation as well as in a standard dynamic model of entry and exit. We find that product market regulations affect time devoted to market work in effectively the same fashion that taxes on labor income or consumption do. In particular, if product market regulations are to affect aggregate market work in this model, the key driving force is the size of income transfers ...
Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations
This paper explores some macroeconomic implications of including household production in an otherwise standard real business cycle model. We calibrate the model based on microeconomic evidence and long run considerations, simulate it, and examine its statistical properties Our finding is that introducing home production significantly improves the quantitative performance of the standard model along several dimensions. It also implies a very different interpretation of the nature of aggregate fluctuations.