The Return to Hours Worked within and Across Occupations: Implications for the Gender Wage Gap

40 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019

See all articles by Jeffrey Denning

Jeffrey Denning

Brigham Young University

Brian A. Jacob

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Lars John Lefgren

Brigham Young University - Department of Economics

Christian vom Lehn

Brigham Young University

Date Written: April 2019

Abstract

We document two empirical phenomena. First, the observational wage returns to hours worked within occupation is small, and even negative in some specifications. Second, the wage return to average hours worked across occupations is large. We develop a conceptual framework that reconciles these facts, where the key insight is that workers choose jobs as a bundle of compensation and expected hours worked. As an example, we apply this framework to the gender wage gap and show how it can explain the view expressed in recent work that hours differences between men and women represent a large and growing component of the gender wage gap.

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Suggested Citation

Denning, Jeffrey and Jacob, Brian A. and Lefgren, Lars John and vom Lehn, Christian, The Return to Hours Worked within and Across Occupations: Implications for the Gender Wage Gap (April 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25739. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3372035

Jeffrey Denning (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

Brian A. Jacob

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Lars John Lefgren

Brigham Young University - Department of Economics ( email )

130 Faculty Office Bldg.
Provo, UT 84602-2363
United States

Christian Vom Lehn

Brigham Young University

Provo, UT 84602
United States

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