[Excerpt] Our paper is a contribution to the debate over the efficacy of such proposals. We begin by providing a brief history of hours-of-work legislation in the United States and discussing a conceptual framework within which the evolution of the legislation can be explained and/or understood. We then trace the growth of the share of nonwage items in total labor cost and of employers' use of overtime hours, and discuss the possible connection between these two trends. We then critically evaluate the available empirical evidence on the relationship between the overtime premium, hours of work, and employment. This section results in an agenda for future research needs, rather than a set of definitive conclusions. Finally, our concluding section discusses the policy implications of our study. Although we believe additional research, some of which we are currently starting to undertake for the Minimum Wage Study Commission, is required before one can fully evaluate the wisdom of amending the overtime provisions of the FLSA, a number of general conclusions are presented in this section.