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The well-being of the overemployed and the underemployed and the rise in depression in the UK

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  • Bell, David N.F.
  • Blanchflower, David G.

Abstract

In this paper we build on our earlier work on underemployment using data from the UK. We focus on the effects on well-being of worker dissatisfaction with hours of work. We make use of five main measures of well-being: happiness; life satisfaction; whether life is worthwhile; anxiety and depression. The more that actual hours differ from preferred hours the lower is a worker's well-being. This is true for those who say they want more hours (the underemployed) and those who say they want less (the over employed).

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2019. "The well-being of the overemployed and the underemployed and the rise in depression in the UK," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 180-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:161:y:2019:i:c:p:180-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.03.018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    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, March.
    3. David N.F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2018. "Underemployment and the Lack of Wage Pressure in the UK," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 243(1), pages 53-61, February.
    4. Helen Tam, 2010. "Characteristics of the underemployed and the overemployed in the UK," Economic & Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan;Office for National Statistics, vol. 4(7), pages 8-20, July.
    5. Blanchflower, David G, 1991. "Fear, Unemployment and Pay Flexibility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 483-496, May.
    6. David G. Blanchflower & Chris Shadforth, 2009. "Fear, Unemployment and Migration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 136-182, February.
    7. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2016. "Antidepressants and age: A new form of evidence for U-shaped well-being through life," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 46-58.
    8. Silvana Robone & Andrew Jones & Nigel Rice, 2011. "Contractual conditions, working conditions and their impact on health and well-being," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 12(5), pages 429-444, October.
    9. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 2-16, January.
    10. Wunder, Christoph & Heineck, Guido, 2013. "Working time preferences, hours mismatch and well-being of couples: Are there spillovers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 244-252.
    11. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2014. "Labour Market Slack in the UK," National Institute Economic Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 229, pages 4-11, August.
    12. Walter Oi, 1983. "The Fixed Employment Costs of Specialized Labor," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Labor Cost, pages 63-122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. David N.F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2018. "The Lack of Wage Growth and the Falling NAIRU," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 245(1), pages 40-55, August.
    14. David N.F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2013. "Underemployment in the UK Revisited," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 224(1), pages 8-22, May.
    15. Jason Heyes & Mark Tomlinson & Adam Whitworth, 2017. "Underemployment and well-being in the UK before and after the Great Recession," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 31(1), pages 71-89, February.
    16. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
    17. Jack E. Triplett, 1983. "The Measurement of Labor Cost," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number trip83-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blanchflower, David G., 2020. "Unhappiness and age," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 461-488.
    2. Brendan Burchell & Senhu Wang & Daiga Kamerade & Ioulia Bessa & Jill Rubery, 2020. "Cut Hours, Not People: No Work, Furlough, Short Hours and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the UK," Working Papers wp521, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    3. David G. Blanchflower, 2020. "Is Happiness U-shaped Everywhere? Age and Subjective Well-being in 132 Countries," NBER Working Papers 26641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David N. F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2021. "Underemployment in the United States and Europe," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 74(1), pages 56-94, January.
    5. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2020. "Now Unions Increase Job Satisfaction and Well-being," NBER Working Papers 27720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kamerāde, Daiga & Wang, Senhu & Burchell, Brendan & Balderson, Sarah Ursula & Coutts, Adam, 2019. "A shorter working week for everyone: How much paid work is needed for mental health and well-being?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 241(C).
    7. David G. Blanchflower & Carol L. Graham, 2022. "The Mid-Life Dip in Well-Being: a Critique," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 287-344, May.
    8. David G. Blanchflower, 2021. "Is happiness U-shaped everywhere? Age and subjective well-being in 145 countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 575-624, April.
    9. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2021. "The Consequences of Chronic Pain in Mid-Life: Evidence from the National Child Development Survey," NBER Working Papers 29278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Underemployment; Overemployment; Well-being; Mental health; Happiness; Depression; Anxiety;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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