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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)

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Cyclical Variation in Labor Hours and Productivity Using the ATUS

Article Citation

Burda, Michael C., Daniel S. Hamermesh, and Jay Stewart. 2013. "Cyclical Variation in Labor Hours and Productivity Using the ATUS." American Economic Review, 103(3): 99-104.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.99

Abstract

We examine monthly variation in weekly work hours using data from 2003 to 2010. The data sources include the Current Population Survey (CPS) on hours/worker, the Current Employment Survey (CES) on hours/job, and the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) on both. The ATUS data minimize recall difficulties and constrain hours of work to accord with total available time. The ATUS hours/worker are less cyclical than the CPS series, but the hours/job are more cyclical than the CES series. We present alternative estimates of productivity based on ATUS data, and find that it is more pro-cyclical than other productivity measures.

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Authors

Burda, Michael C. (Humboldt U Berlin)
Hamermesh, Daniel S. (U TX and Royal Holloway, U London)
Stewart, Jay (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

JEL Classifications

E24: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital
E32: Business Fluctuations; Cycles
G01: Financial Crises
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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