Sunday, June 12, 2011

Europe vs. America: Output and Hours

America in 1970-1974 and 1990-1993 are normalized to 100.  These graphs give a comparison between European countries vs. the U.S. in the 70's and in the 90's, with the data from "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?" Prescott (2004).  
European vs. American Hours/Capita (click to enlarge)
  • In the 70's, Germany, France, the UK, and Japan all worked more hours than the U.S.
  • By the 90's, only Japan worked more (and the deficit had closed). 
  • By the 90's, France worked 68% of the hours Americans worked per capita (capita is defined as all persons aged 15-64.
European vs. American Output/Hours (click to enlarge)
  • In the 1970's, the U.S. produced much more per hour than Europe.
  • By the 1990's, this was a mixed bag, but everyone closed the deficit save Canada.
 European vs. American Output/Capita (click to enlarge)
  • The U.S. just makes more per capita.
Why does the U.S. work more and make more even though its output/hours advantage has decreased so significantly?  Prescott's answer: taxes.

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