Are Hard Working Americans Facing Diminishing Returns

AB reader Henry Cobb directs our attention here:

Americans are hard workers, but not necessarily the most productive workers, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. It has compared America’s output per worker and output per hour with a clutch of other rich countries. It reckons that the average American worker produced about $90,000 of output in 2006, measured at purchasing-power parity. Only Norwegian workers, some of whom man oil-rigs, did better. But America’s output per hour worked—just over $50—was less impressive. Employees in France, Belgium and the Netherlands were all able to squeeze more out of an hour of effort. In Norway, workers can churn out about $73-worth of goods and services in that time.

So we have higher GDP per capita than the French because we slave away at the office more? The French produce more goods per hour worked and they have more time to enjoy that glass of wine.

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