The Timing of Work Time Over Time

46 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2000 Last revised: 3 Jul 2022

See all articles by Daniel S. Hamermesh

Daniel S. Hamermesh

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 1996

Abstract

The incidence of evening and night work declined sharply in the United States between the early 1970s and the early 1990s, while the fraction of work performed at the fringes of the traditional regular working day grew. The secular decline in evening and night work did not result from industrial shifts or demographic changes. It was greatest at the upper end of the wage distribution, slowest among workers in the lowest quartile of wages. The observed changes in timing are consistent with and magnify the increase in wage inequality in the U.S. that occurred during this period. They are easily explained by a model that views evening/night work as a disamenity, with rising real incomes causing workers to shift away from such work in the presence of only neutral technical change in the profitability of work at different times of day.

Suggested Citation

Hamermesh, Daniel S., The Timing of Work Time Over Time (December 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5855, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225640

Daniel S. Hamermesh (Contact Author)

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