This paper provides new evidence on time use and subjective well-being of employed and unemployed individuals in 14 countries. We devote particular attention to characterizing and modeling job search intensity, measured by the amount of time devoted to searching for a new job. Job search intensity varies considerably across countries, and is higher in countries that have higher wage dispersion. We also examine the relationship between unemployment benefits and job search.
This paper tests a central implication of the theory of equalizing differences, that workers sort into
jobs with different attributes based on their preferences for those attributes. We present evidence
from four new time-use data sets for the United States and France on whether workers who are more
gregarious, as revealed by their behavior when they are not working, tend to be employed in jobs
that involve more social interactions. In each data set we find a significant and sizable relationship
between the tendency to interact with others off the job and while working. People’s descriptions of
their jobs and their personalities also accord reasonably well with their time use on and off the job.
Furthermore, workers in occupations that require social interactions according to the O’Net
Dictionary of Occupational Titles tend to spend more of their non-working time with friends.
Lastly, we find that workers report substantially higher levels of job satisfaction and net affect while
at work if their jobs entail frequent interactions with coworkers and other desirable working
This paper provides new evidence on job search intensity of the unemployed in the U.S., modeling job search intensity as time allocated to job search activities. The main findings are: 1) the average unemployed worker in the U.S. devotes about 41 minutes to job search on weekdays, which is substantially more than his or her European counterpart; 2) workers who expect to be recalled by their previous employer search substantially less than the average unemployed worker; 3) across the 50 states and D.C., job search is inversely related to the generosity of unemployment benefits, with an elasticity between -1.6 and -2.2; 4) the predicted wage is a strong predictor of time devoted to job search, with an elasticity in excess of 2.5; 5) job search intensity for those eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) increases prior to benefit exhaustion; 6) time devoted to job search is fairly constant regardless of unemployment duration for those who are ineligible for UI. A nonparametric Monte Carlo technique suggests that the relationship between job search effort and the duration of unemployment for a cross-section of job seekers is only slightly biased by length-based sampling.