The Utilization of U.S. Male Labor, 1975-1992: Estimates of Foregone Hours

Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 123

52 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 1998

See all articles by Lawrence Buron

Lawrence Buron

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Robert Haveman

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Owen O'Donnell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 1994

Abstract

In this working paper, Lawrence Buron, Robert Haveman, and Owen O'Donnell examine the possible reasons for the underutilization of labor among various segments of the male work force by studying foregone hours, or the gap (in terms of hours) between the amount of time actually worked and full-time hours. The authors contend that although the number of annual hours worked follows the business cycle, there has been no recovery from the decline that occurred in the recession of the early 1980s. This trend has been overlooked because the average number of hours worked has remained fairly constant at 2,080 hours, the number of hours required to be counted as a full-time worker over the period. The distribution of hours among workers, however, has shifted. The authors hoped to determine which workers were affected and whether the decline in hours was voluntary or involuntary. The authors used from the March Consumer Population Survey on full-time, full-year (FTFY) employment among males for the years 1975-1993, and reported the actual trends in each of the measures employed, as well as for standardized measures that held the age, educational, and racial composition of the labor force constant (at their initial year levels). By doing so, they were better able to determine whether the trends they found were the result of demographic changes or influenced by other events.

JEL Classification: J16, J23

Suggested Citation

Buron, Lawrence and Haveman, Robert H. and O'Donnell, Owen, The Utilization of U.S. Male Labor, 1975-1992: Estimates of Foregone Hours (August 1994). Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 123. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=136488 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.136488

Lawrence Buron (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Robert H. Haveman

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-7398 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Owen O'Donnell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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