The Timing of Work Over Time

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Abstract

The incidence of evening and night work declined sharply in the United States between the early 1970s and the early 1990s, while the fraction of work performed at the fringes of the traditional regular working day grew. This secular decline did not result from industrial shifts or demographic changes. It was greatest at the upper end of the wage distribution, slowest among workers in the lowest quartile of wages. The observed changes are explained by a model that views evening/night work as a disamenity, with rising real earnings leading workers to shift away from such work in the presence of technical change.

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