Work Levels In The US And Nordic Countries

US workers put in more hours than workers in all four Nordic countries and way more hours than workers in Denmark and Norway. Getting down to Danish and Norwegian levels of work would be like giving American workers 2.2 additional months of vacation each year. What is especially interesting about America’s high number of hours worked is that normally hours worked declines as hourly productivity goes up. This is true generally across countries and also true within the Nordic countries. But it is not really true of the US, which works far more hours than its hourly productivity would predict. The following graph shows the PPP-adjusted GDP per hour of the US and the Nordic countries.
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