Is America the richest country because we work longer hours?

Via BigPicture, I found about the WSJ coverage of an OECD study that notes:

Hours worked per capita
The OECD report found, however, that relative to other industrial countries, higher U.S. incomes are “largely due to differences in total hours worked per capita,” not differences in output per hour. U.S. productivity growth has accelerated since the late 1990s, which has widened the U.S. lead in per capita income, but rising hours also have been “a major factor,” the report said .

Of course this report begs the question of why Americans work more hours. Is it because a higher percentage of our population is working age or is because the return on the marginal hour of work has decline in these other countries because their tax burden has increased? Or is our immigrant population simply more motivated than the decendants of people who felt no need to move anywhere?

Advertisements

One Response to Is America the richest country because we work longer hours?

  1. Morgan says:

    Another possibile explanation (not that I necessarily think this–I’m just thinking outloud): We could work so much because it is better than the reasonable alternatives? (IE, our home lives, social lives, hobby lives, etc., are less well developed etc.)

    -morgan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: