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Telework, Wages, and Time Use in the United States

Sabrina Pabilonia and Victoria Vernon
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Victoria Vernon: SUNY Empire State College

Review of Economics of the Household, 2022, vol. 20, issue 3, No 2, 687-734

Abstract: Abstract Using data on full-time wage and salary workers from the 2017–2018 American Time Use Survey Leave and Job Flexibilities Module, we estimate hourly wage differentials for teleworkers and compare how workers allocate their time over the day when they work from home rather than the office. We find that some teleworkers earn a wage premium, but it varies by gender, parental status, and teleworking intensity. Fathers who telework earn more than fathers in office-based jobs, regardless of teleworking intensity. Women without children who telework occasionally earn more than their office counterparts. In industries and occupations where telework is more prevalent, mothers who work from home most days of the week pay a wage penalty compared to mothers in office-based jobs. Using time diaries, we find differences in work patterns and hours across worker groups that could drive these teleworker wage differentials. Most teleworkers work less on home days; however, those who earn wage premiums are working longer hours on weekdays, regardless of their work location. When teleworking, mothers experience more interruptions in their workdays than other workers, which could have negative effects on their productivity. We also find that teleworkers spend less time on commuting and grooming activities but more time on leisure activities and with family on work-at-home days than on office days, and female teleworkers spend more time sleeping and on household production activities.

Keywords: Remote work; Working from home; Telework; Wages; Time use; Commuting; Productivity; J22; J31; D13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-022-09601-1

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