Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Non-Work at Work, Unemployment and Labor Productivity

Author(s): Michael C Burda, Katie R. Genadek and Daniel S. Hamermesh

Publication Date: June 2017

Keyword(s): efficiency wages, labor productivity, non-work and time use

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics

Abstract: 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.

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Bibliographic Reference

Burda, M, Genadek, K and Hamermesh, D. 2017. 'Non-Work at Work, Unemployment and Labor Productivity'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.