Workaholism and marital estrangement: A rational-choice perspective
Workaholism is an addiction to work. It is a major source of marital estrangement and breakdown as well as a severe threat to physical and psychological health. While addiction to harmful goods has gained considerable attention in the economic literature, addiction to work, with one recent exception, has totally escaped economists' notice, despite the growing concern with its devastating consequences. The present paper makes a second step in applying economic reasoning to this problem, developing a dynamic model of rational workaholism. The model demonstrates that it is not necessary for work to be addictive per se in order to exhibit an addictive pattern throughout which work intensity monotonically increases with time. Marital estrangement alone may inflame the desire for work, which in turn further exacerbates estrangement. The model determines the optimal intensity of work and quality of marriage for the workaholic over time, showing that even a happily married, forward-looking individual might be swept into an addictive course of excessive work that leads to marital breakdown.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Leonard, Daniel, 1989. "Market behavior of rational addicts," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 117-144, March.
- Nilss Olekalns & Peter Bardsley, 1994.
"Rational Addiction to Caffeine: an Analysis of Coffee Consumption,"
1994.21, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
- Olekalns, Nilss & Bardsley, Peter, 1996. "Rational Addiction to Caffeine: An Analysis of Coffee Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1100-1104, October.
- Nilss Olekalns & Peter Bardsley, 1994. "Rational Addiction to Caffeine: an Analysis of Coffee Consumption," Working Papers 1994.21, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
- Badi H. Baltagi & James M. Griffin, 2002. "Rational addiction to alcohol: panel data analysis of liquor consumption," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 485-491.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh & Joel Slemrod, 2005.
"The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper,"
NBER Working Papers
11566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hamermesh Daniel S. & Slemrod Joel B, 2008. "The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-30, January.
- Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Slemrod, Joel, 2005. "The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper," IZA Discussion Papers 1680, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, June.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
- Suranovic, Steven M. & Goldfarb, Robert S. & Leonard, Thomas C., 1999. "An economic theory of cigarette addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, January.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986.
"A Theory of Rational Addiction,"
University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State
41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Winston, Gordon C., 1980. "Addiction and backsliding : A theory of compulsive consumption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-324, December.
- Brian S. Ferguson, 2000. "Interpreting the rational addiction model," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(7), pages 587-598.
- Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J., 1998.
"The demand for cocaine by young adults: a rational addiction approach,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 427-474, August.
- Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Charles C. Brown, 1996. "The Demand for Cocaine by Young Adults: A Rational Addiction Approach," NBER Working Papers 5713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:61:y:2011:i:2:p:104-108. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.