Economics at your fingertips  

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
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Published - published in: Economic Inquiry, 2016, 54 (1), 9–24

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Whose Preferences Are Revealed In Hours Of Work? Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

Page updated 2021-11-25
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9182