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Sleep and productivity


Shrader, Jeffrey & Gibson, Matthew (2014). Sleep and productivity. San Diego: UC San Diego.


Sleep is arguably one of the most important influences on human performance. It plays an large role in determining morbidity and mortality, affects performance on memory and focus intensive tasks, and takes more time each day than any other single activity. Despite these features, economists have overlooked sleep almost entirely. Motivated by a structural time use model, we use large, nationally representative time use diaries from the United States and Russia to provide the first causal analysis of the impact of sleep on wages. We document the non-linearity of the sleep-wage relationship and estimate wage-optimizing sleep levels. Our instrumental variables estimates of the effect of sleep on wages are large and significant, highlighting the importance of sleep as a direct input into economic outcomes and potentially casting doubt on analysis that excludes sleep.

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Shrader, Jeffrey
Gibson, Matthew