Hours Worked: Long-Run Trends
Economie d'avant garde Research Report No. 10
18 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2005
Date Written: June 2005
For 200 years the average number of hours worked per worker declined, both in the market place and in the home. Technological progress is the engine of such transformation. Three mechanisms are stressed:
(i) The rise in real wages and its corresponding wealth effect;
(ii) The enhanced value of time off from work, due to the advent of time-using leisure goods;
(iii) The reduced need for housework, due to the introduction of time-saving appliances.
These mechanisms are incorporated into a model of household production. The notion of Edgeworth-Pareto complementarity/substitutability is key to the analysis. Numerical examples link theory and data.
Keywords: Hours worked, leisure, housework, household production, Edgeworth-Pareto complementarity/substitutability, technological progress
JEL Classification: E24, J22, O11, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation