Why Do Americans Work More than Europeans? Differences in Career Prospects

CEPR Policy Insight No 12

Claudio Michelacci, Josep Pijoan-Mas

Today Americans work much more than Europeans, while this was not the case back in the 1970s. Have Europeans developed a taste for leisure absent in Americans? Is consumerism more rooted in America than in Europe? Arguably not: differences in working time simply reflect differences in workers' incentives over their working life.