DP12087 Non-Work at Work, Unemployment and Labor Productivity

Author(s): Michael C Burda, Katie R. Genadek, Daniel S. Hamermesh
Publication Date: June 2017
Keyword(s): efficiency wages, labor productivity, non-work, time use
JEL(s): E24, J22
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12087

We use the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) 2003-2012 to estimate time spent in non-work on the job. Non-work is substantial and varies positively with local unemployment. Time spent in non-work conditional on any positive amount rises, while the fraction of workers reporting positive values declines with unemployment. Both effects are economically important, and are consistent with a model in which heterogeneous workers are paid efficiency wages. That model correctly predicts the relationship between the incidence of non-work and unemployment benefits in state data linked to the ATUS, and is consistent with estimated occupational differences in non-work incidence and intensity, as well as the cyclical behavior of aggregate labor productivity.