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?