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Long Work Hours: Volunteers and Conscripts

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  • Robert Drago

    (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

  • Mark Wooden

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

  • David Black

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

Abstract

Panel data from Australia are used to study the prevalence of work hours mismatch among long hours workers and, more importantly, how that mismatch persists and changes over time, and what factors are associated with these changes. Particular attention is paid to the roles played by household debt, ideal worker characteristics and gender. Both static and dynamic multinomial logit models are estimated, with the dependent variable distinguishing long hours workers from other workers, and within the former, between “volunteers”, who prefer long hours, and “conscripts”, who do not. The results suggest that: (i) high levels of debt are mainly associated with conscript status; (ii) ideal worker types can be found among both volunteers and conscripts, but are much more likely to be conscripts; and (iii) women are relatively rare among long hours workers, and especially long hours volunteers, suggesting long hours jobs may be discriminatory. The research highlights the importance of distinguishing conscripts and volunteers to understand the prevalence and dynamics of long work 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 wp2006n27.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2006n27

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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
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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, vol. 42(1), pages 149-166, 03.
  2. Linda Bell, 1998. "Differences in Work Hours and Hours Preferences by Race in the U.S," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 481-500.
  3. 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.
  4. Bowles, Samuel, 1985. "The Production Process in a Competitive Economy: Walrasian, Neo-Hobbesian, and Marxian Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 16-36, March.
  5. 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, vol. 48(3), pages 317-46, September.
  6. Yi-Ping Tseng & Mark Wooden, 2005. "Preferred vs Actual Working Hours in Couple Households," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2001-06 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
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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 wp2007n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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