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Whose Preferences Are Revealed in Hours of Work?

John Pencavel

No 9182, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: It has become orthodox in economics research to interpret the association between hourly earnings and working hours as the expression of the preferences of workers. This convention originated in H. Gregg Lewis' explanation for the decline in hours of work since the nineteenth century. His explanation rested on an explicit resolution of the identification problem inherent in any quantity (hours) - price (wage) relation. For over forty years, researchers have neglected this identification problem with the result that the findings in the purported "labor supply" literature are of questionable value.

Keywords: labor demand; labor supply; wages; working hours; identification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C13 J22 J23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2015-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-lma
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Published - published in: Economic Inquiry, 2016, 54 (1), 9–24

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Journal Article: WHOSE PREFERENCES ARE REVEALED IN HOURS OF WORK? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Whose Preferences Are Revealed In Hours Of Work? Downloads
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