Measuring the Productivity of Working From Home

Category: Quantitative Economic Policy Seminar
When: 18 July 2024
, 14:00
 - 15:15
Where: RuW 4.202


We document a doubling of hours worked at home in the US from 2003 to 2019. We propose a model where workers choose optimally where (at home or at the office) and how much time to work at the chosen location. The place and time depend on worker preferences across locations and the relative productivity of working from home. We estimate the model allowing for both preferences and productivity to change over time and decompose the rise in hours worked. Changes in preferences and the demographic composition of the workforce played little role in the rise of working from home. Instead, increases in the relative productivity of working from home and employment shifts toward occupations with higher relative productivity can account for most of the observed increase in hours worked at home.