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The Persistence of Long Work Hours

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Author Info

  • Robert Drago

    ()
    (Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations, Pennsylvania State University)

  • David Black

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Mark Wooden

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Previous research hypothesizes that long working hours are related to consumerism, the ideal worker norm, high levels of human capital, and a high cost-of-job-loss. The authors test these hypotheses using panel data on working hours for an Australian sample of full-time employed workers. Analyses include a static cross-sectional model and a persistence model for long hours over time. The results suggest that long hours (50 or more hours in a usual week) are often persistent, and provide strongest support for the consumerism hypothesis, with some support for the ideal worker norm and human capital hypotheses, and no support for the cost-of-job-loss hypothesis. Other results are consistent with a backward-bending supply of long hours, and with multiple job holders and the self-employed working long hours.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2005n12.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2005n12

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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Hawke, Anne & Wooden, Mark, 1998. "The Changing Face of Australian Industrial Relations: A Survey," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 74(224), pages 74-88, March.
  2. Peter Berg & Eileen Appelbaum & Tom Bailey & Arne L. Kalleberg, 2004. "Contesting time: International comparisons of employee control of working time," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(3), pages 331-349, April.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, vol. 37(3), pages 343-349, 09.
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