The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US

84 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2006  

Michael C. Burda

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daniel S. Hamermesh

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

Philippe Weil

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2006

Abstract

Using two time-diary data sets each for Germany, Italy the Netherlands and the U.S. from 1985-2003, we demonstrate that Americans work more than Europeans: 1) in the market; 2) in total (market and home production) - there is no one-for-one tradeoff across countries in total work; 3) at unusual times of the day and on weekends. In addition, gender differences in total work within a given country are significantly smaller than variation across countries and time. We conclude that some of the transatlantic differences could reflect inferior equilibria that are generated by social norms and externalities. While an important outlet for total work, home production by females appears very sensitive to tax rates in the G-7 countries. We adapt the theory of home production to account for fixed costs of market work and adduce evidence that they, in contrast to other relative costs, vary significantly across countries.

Keywords: time use, gender inequality, household production, hours of work

JEL Classification: J22, E24, D13

Suggested Citation

Burda, Michael C. and Hamermesh, Daniel S. and Weil, Philippe, The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US (August 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2270. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=928821

Michael C. Burda (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Daniel S. Hamermesh

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-475-8526 (Phone)
512-471-3510 (Fax)

Philippe Weil

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

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Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
+32 2 650 4220 (Phone)
+32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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