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It's Been A Hard Day's Night: The Concentration and Intensification of Work in Late Twentieth-Century Britain

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  • Francis Green

Abstract

This paper presents evidence on trends in work pressure in late twentieth-century Britain. The main findings are: (1) Average hours of work levelled off at the start of the 1980s, following a long historic fall, but have not increased since. However, the dispersion of hours has increased, and working hours have been concentrated into fewer households. (2) Work effort has been intensified since 1981. Intensification was greatest in manufacturing during the 1980s, and in the public sector during the 1990s. (3) Between 1986 and 1997 there have been substantial increases in the number of sources of pressure inducing hard work from employees. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd/London School of Economics 2001.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Green, 2001. "It's Been A Hard Day's Night: The Concentration and Intensification of Work in Late Twentieth-Century Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 53-80, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:39:y:2001:i:1:p:53-80
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark, 2005. "Your Money or Your Life: Changing Job Quality in OECD Countries," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 377-400, September.
    2. Brendan Burchell & Colette Fagan, 2004. "Gender and the Intensification of Work: Evidence from the European Working Conditions Surveys," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 627-642, Fall.
    3. Jens Larsen & Katharine Neiss & Fergal Shortall, 2002. "Factor utilisation and productivity estimates for the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 162, Bank of England.
    4. Frederick Guy & Peter Skottz, 2005. "Power-Biased Technological Change and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Working Papers 06, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Cowan, Robin & Sanditov, Bulat & Weehuizen, Rifka, 2011. "Productivity effects of innovation, stress and social relations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 165-182, August.
    6. 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, March.
    7. Antoine Valeyre, 2004. "Forms of Work Intensification and Economic Performance in French Manufacturing," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 643-658, Fall.
    8. Federico Huneeus & Oscar Landerretche & Esteban Puentes, 2012. "Multidimensional Measure of Job Quality: Persistence and Heterogeneity in a Developing Country," Working Papers wp357, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    9. Leo McCann & John Hassard & Jonathan Morris, 2010. "Restructuring Managerial Labour in the USA, the UK and Japan: Challenging the Salience of 'Varieties of Capitalism'," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(2), pages 347-374, June.
    10. Leo McCann & Jonathan Morris & John Hassard, 2008. "Normalized Intensity: The New Labour Process of Middle Management," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 343-371, March.
    11. Pompermaier, Alberto, 2011. "Job competition, product market competition and welfare," MPRA Paper 35410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. DeRiviere, Linda, 2008. "Have we come a long way? Using the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics to revisit the 'pin money' theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2340-2367, December.
    13. Francis Green, 2002. "Why Has Work Effort Become More Intense?," Studies in Economics 0207, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    14. Helen Russell & Philip J. O'Connell & Frances McGinnity, 2007. "The Impact of Flexible Working Arrangements on Work-Life Conflict and Work Pressure in Ireland," Papers WP189, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    15. Heywood, John S. & Siebert, W. Stanley & Wei, Xiangdong, 2005. "High Performance Workplaces and Family Friendly Practices: Promises Made and Promises Kept," IZA Discussion Papers 1812, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. John MacInnes, 2005. "Work-Life Balance and the Demand for Reduction in Working Hours: Evidence from the British Social Attitudes Survey 2002," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(2), pages 273-295, June.
    17. Petri Böckerman, 2002. "Overtime in Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 36-54, Spring.
    18. Ghosheh Jr, N.S. & Yi, Sang-hŏn, & McCann, Deirdre., 2006. "Conditions of work and employment for older workers in industrialized countries : understanding the issues," ILO Working Papers 993864863402676, International Labour Organization.
    19. David Campbell & Francis Green, 2002. "The Long Term Pay-Off From Working Longer Hours," Studies in Economics 0205, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    20. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Work Hours in Chinese Enterprises: Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," Monash Economics Working Papers 10-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    21. Dan Wheatley & Irene Hardill & Bruce Philp, 2008. "Managing reductions in working hours: a study of work-time and leisure preferences in UK industry," Working Papers 2008/5, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division.
    22. Geoff Mason & Matthew Osborne, 2007. "Productivity, Capital-Intensity and Labour Quality at Sector Level in New Zealand and the UK," Treasury Working Paper Series 07/01, New Zealand Treasury.

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