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Whose Preferences Are Revealed In Hours Of Work?

John Pencavel

No 15-025, Discussion Papers from Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

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: Working hours; wages; labor supply; labor demand; identification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C13 J22 J23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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Related works:
Journal Article: WHOSE PREFERENCES ARE REVEALED IN HOURS OF WORK? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Whose Preferences Are Revealed in Hours of Work? (2015) Downloads
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