A Theory of the Production and Allocation of Effort

70 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2000  

Gary S. Becker

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: July 1977

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze systematically the production of effort and its allocation among different market and non-market sectors. I believe that this analysis can explain much of the variation in earnings that is not explained by human capital. The first section introduces the material. The next section develops the basic theoretical analysis of the production and allocation of effort by a free person. Section III applies this analysis to the value placed on time a1 located to the non-market sector, the effect of hours worked on fatigue and earnings, life cycle variations-in earnings and hours worked, investment in health, and the effect of marriage on the earnings and health of men and women. Section IV considers worker effort from the view point of firms, and shows how various characteristics of firms determine the wage rates offered and the effort supplied by their workers. Section V analyzes the production and allocation of effort by slaves, and derives "expropriation rates'' and other implications about the treatment of slaves .

Suggested Citation

Becker, Gary S., A Theory of the Production and Allocation of Effort (July 1977). NBER Working Paper No. w0184. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225160

Gary S. Becker (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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