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Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-time Work Puzzle

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  • Alison L. Booth
  • Jan C. van Ours

Abstract

Using fixed effects ordered logit estimation, we investigate the relationship between part-time work and working hours satisfaction; job satisfaction; and life satisfaction. We account for interdependence within the family using data on partnered men and women from the British Household Panel Survey. We find that men have the highest hours-of-work satisfaction if they work full-time without overtime hours but neither their job satisfaction nor their life satisfaction are affected by how many hours they work. Life satisfaction is influenced only by whether or not they have a job. For women we are confronted with a puzzle. Hours satisfaction and job satisfaction indicate that women prefer part-time jobs irrespective of whether these are small or large. In contrast, female life satisfaction is virtually unaffected by hours of work. Women without children do not care about their hours of work at all, while women with children are significantly happier if they have a job regardless of how many hours it entails.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1000.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1000

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Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 5th Floor, Economics and Commerce Building, Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5289
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
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Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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Keywords: part-time work; happiness; satisfaction; working hours; gender;

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References

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  1. Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2007. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 6058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Burda, Michael C. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Weil, Philippe, 2007. "Total Work, Gender and Social Norms," IZA Discussion Papers 2705, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alison L. Booth & Jan C. Van Ours, 2009. "Hours of Work and Gender Identity: Does Part-time Work Make the Family Happier?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 176-196, 02.
  4. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  5. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2004. "The (unexpected) structure of "rents" on the French and British labour markets," DELTA Working Papers 2004-06, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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  7. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  8. Francesconi, Marco, 2001. " Determinants and Consequences of Promotions in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(3), pages 279-310, July.
  9. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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  11. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Subjective Well-Being and the Family: Results from an Ordered Probit Model with Multiple Random Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 1016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Barry T. Hirsch, 2005. "Why do part-time workers earn less? The role of worker and job skills," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(4), pages 525-551, July.
  13. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
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  16. John F. Ermisch & Robert E. Wright, 1993. "Wage Offers and Full-Time and Part-Time Employment by British Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 111-133.
  17. Nick Carroll, 2005. "Unemployment and Psychological Well-Being," CEPR Discussion Papers 492, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  18. Gershuny, Jonathan, 2000. "Changing Times: Work and Leisure in Postindustrial Society," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287872.
  19. Main, Brian G M, 1988. "Hourly Earnings of Female Part-time versus Full-time Employees," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 56(4), pages 331-44, December.
  20. Mary Gregory & Sara Connolly, 2007. "Moving Down: Women`s Part-time Work and Occupational Change in Britain 1991-2001," Economics Series Working Papers 359, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  21. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  22. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
  23. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  24. Joan R. Rodgers, 2004. "Hourly Wages of full-time and part-time employees in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 231-254, June.
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