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Long Work Hours: Volunteers and Conscripts

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  • Robert Drago
  • Mark Wooden
  • David Black

Abstract

Using panel survey data from Australia, we divide long hours workers (persons reporting usually working 50 or more hours per week) into groups of 'volunteers', who prefer long hours, and 'conscripts', who do not. We study both the static and dynamic prevalence of the phenomenon. Norms surrounding ideal workers and consumerism play major roles in explaining conscript status, with bargaining power less important. The self-employed often appear as volunteers or conscripts, while gender, rather than motherhood, is a strong predictor of shorter work hours. Both the demand and supply sides of the labour market play a role in explaining the prevalence of long hours conscripts. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 47 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 571-600

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:47:y:2009:i:3:p:571-600

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  1. René Böheim & Mark P. Taylor, 2004. "Actual and Preferred Working Hours," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 149-166, 03.
  2. Yi-Ping Tseng & Mark Wooden, 2005. "Preferred vs Actual Working Hours in Couple Households," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne wp2005n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Merz, Joachim, 2002. "Time and Economic Well-Being--A Panel Analysis of Desired versus Actual Working Hours," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 317-46, September.
  4. Bowles, Samuel, 1985. "The Production Process in a Competitive Economy: Walrasian, Neo-Hobbesian, and Marxian Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 16-36, March.
  5. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
  6. Linda Bell, 1998. "Differences in Work Hours and Hours Preferences by Race in the U.S," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 481-500.
  7. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2004. "The HILDA Survey Four Years On," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(3), pages 343-349, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Wooden & Robert Drago, 2007. "The Changing Distribution of Working Hours in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne wp2007n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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