Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Job Characteristics and Hours of Work
Authors: Paxson, Christina
Altonji, Joseph
Keywords: labor supply
hours constraints
hours determination
job characteristics
Issue Date: 1-Aug-1985
Citation: In Ronald G. Ehrenberg (ed.), Research in Labor Economics, Volume 8,(Part A) A Research Annual, Greenwich, CT and London:JAI Press, 1986
Series/Report no.: Working Papers (Princeton University. Industrial Relations Section) ; 198
Abstract: This paper provides evidence that hours of work are heavily influenced by the particular job which a person holds. The empirical work consists of a comparison of the variance in the change in work hours across time intervals containing a job change with the variance in the change in hours across time periods when the job remains the same. To the extent that workers choose hours and these hours choices are influenced by shifts in individual preferences and resources, the variance in the time change of hours should not depend upon whether the worker has switched jobs. The desire to reduce or increase hours could be acted upon in the current job. On the other hand, if hours are influenced by employer preferences or if job specific characteristics dominate the labor supply decision, then hours changes should be larger when persons change jobs than when they do not. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Quality of Employment Survey, we find that hours changes are two to four times more variable across jobs than within jobs. This result holds for both men and women, is obtained for weeks per year, hours per week, and annual hours, and is not sensitive to the use of controls for a set of job characteristics (including the wage) which might influence the level of hours persons wish to supply. The finding that the job has a large influence on work hours suggests that much greater emphasis should be given to demand factors and to job specific labor supply factors in future research on hours of work. The overwhelming emphasis upon the wage and personal characteristics in conventional labor supply analyses of work hours may in part be misplaced.
Appears in Collections:IRS Working Papers

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
198.pdf4.37 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.