Insights / Video

Friedman Forum: The Effect of Technology on the Labor Supply of Young Men and Women, Featuring Booth’s Erik Hurst

Erik Hurst, the V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business, and Deputy Director of the Becker Friedman Institute, discusses the effect of technology on the labor supply of young men and women.

What role has technology played in labor force participation by younger men and women? In a recent NBER Working Paper, Booth Professor Erik Hurst and co-authors explore whether improved leisure technology has played a role in reducing younger men’s labor supply. They find that since 2004, younger men distinctly shifted their leisure to video gaming and other recreational computer activities. Hurst and his co-authors predict a decline in market hours of 1.5 to 3.0 percent for younger men, which is 38 and 79 percent of the differential decline relative to older men.

In his Friedman Forum lecture, Professor Hurst discussed this research and potential implications for overall labor force participation of their findings.