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Work Hours Constraints and Health

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Author Info

  • David Bell
  • Steffen Otterbach
  • Alfonso Sousa-Poza

Abstract

The issue of whether employees who work more hours than they want to suffer adverse health consequences is important not only at the individual level but also for governmental formation of work time policy. Our study investigates this question by analyzing the impact of the discrepancy between actual and desired work hours on self-perceived health outcomes in Germany and the United Kingdom. Based on nationally representative longitudinal data, our results show that work-hour mismatches (i.e., differences between actual and desired hours) have negative effects on workers´ health. In particular, we show that "overemployment" - working more hours than desired - has negative effects on different measures of self-perceived health.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 424.

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Length: 29 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp424

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Keywords: Work time; hours constraints; health; Germany; United Kingdom;

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References

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  1. Charlene Kalenkoski & Karen Hamrick & Margaret Andrews, 2011. "Time Poverty Thresholds and Rates for the US Population," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 129-155, October.
  2. Mark Wooden & Diana Warren & Robert Drago, 2009. "Working Time Mismatch and Subjective Well-being," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(1), pages 147-179, 03.
  3. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  4. Baetschmann, Gregori & Staub, Kevin & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2011. "Consistent Estimation of the Fixed Effects Ordered Logit Model," IZA Discussion Papers 5443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
  6. Linda A. Bell & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "The Incentive for Working Hard: Explaining Hours Worked Differences in the U.S. and Germany," NBER Working Papers 8051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jerry Jacobs & Kathleen Green, 1998. "Who Are the Overworked Americans?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 442-459.
  8. Euwals, R.W. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1996. "Desired and Actual Labour Supply of Unmarried Men and Women in the Netherlands," Discussion Paper 1996-23, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Shulamit Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1987. "Constraints on the Choice of Work Hours: Agency vs. Specific-Capital," NBER Working Papers 2238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Joachim Merz & Tim Rathjen, 2009. "Time and Income Poverty - An Interdependent Multidimensional Poverty Approach with German Time Use Diary Data," FFB-Discussionpaper 79, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  11. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  12. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  13. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 409-426, December.
  14. Altonji, Joseph G & Paxson, Christina H, 1988. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Trade-Offs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 254-76, April.
  15. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2003. "Asymmetric information about workers' productivity as a cause for inefficient long working hours," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 727-747, December.
  16. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  17. Alfonso Sousa-Poza & Fred Henneberger, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Working-Hours Constraints in Twenty-one Countries," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 60(2), pages 209-242.
  18. Stewart, M.B. & Swaffield, J.K., 1996. "Constraints on the Desired Hours of Work of British Men," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 468, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  19. Steffen Otterbach, 2010. "Mismatches Between Actual and Preferred Work Time: Empirical Evidence of Hours Constraints in 21 Countries," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 143-161, June.
  20. Gerd Grözinger & Wenzel Matiaske & Verena Tobsch, 2008. "Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 103, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  21. Andrew Harvey & Arun Mukhopadhyay, 2007. "When Twenty-Four Hours is not Enough: Time Poverty of Working Parents," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 57-77, May.
  22. Shulamit Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1996. "Hours Constraints and the Wage/Hours Locus," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 71-75, April.
  23. Gregori Baetschmann & Kevin E. Staub & Rainer Winkelmann, 2011. "Reconsidering the analysis of longitudinal happiness data - with an application to the effect of unemployment," ECON - Working Papers 004, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2011.
  24. Geyer, Johannes & Myck, Michal, 2010. "Poorer Health – Shorter Hours? Health and Flexibility of Hours of Work," IZA Discussion Papers 5169, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & McVicar, Duncan & Wooden, Mark, 2013. "Non-Standard 'Contingent' Employment and Job Satisfaction: A Panel Data Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 7590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Constant, Amelie F. & Otterbach, Steffen, 2011. "Work Hours Constraints: Impacts and Policy Implications," IZA Policy Papers 35, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bassanini, Andrea & Caroli, Eve, 2014. "Is work bad for health? The role of constraint vs choice," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1402, CEPREMAP.
  4. Wunder, Christoph & Heineck, Guido, 2012. "Working Time Preferences, Hours Mismatch and Well-Being of Couples: Are There Spillovers?," IZA Discussion Papers 6786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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