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Work Intensification, Discretion, and the Decline in Well-Being at Work


  • Francis Green

    () (Department of Economics, University of Kent)


Data from three representative British surveys are used to show that there has been a decline in the overall level of job satisfaction and a rise in the extent of work strain. The rise in work strain is associated with work intensification, while the fall in job satisfaction is associated partly with work intensification but also with the declining amount of discretion that workers have in their daily tasks. Work intensification may have come to a halt after 1997, however. The paper also confirms a link between computerized or automated jobs and high work effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Green, 2004. "Work Intensification, Discretion, and the Decline in Well-Being at Work," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 615-625, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:30:y:2004:i:4:p:615-625

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gallie, Duncan & White, Michael & Cheng, Yuan & Tomlinson, Mark, 1998. "Restructuring the Employment Relationship," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294412, June.
    2. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paulo Aguiar Do Monte, 2011. "Job Dissatisfaction And Labour Turnover:Evidence From Brazil," Anais do XXXVIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 38th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 135, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A., 2007. "The effect of job satisfaction on labor turnover by gender: An analysis for Switzerland," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 895-913, December.
    3. Francis Green & Nicholas Tsitsianis, 2004. "Can the Changing Nature of Jobs Account for National Trends in Job Satisfaction?," Studies in Economics 0406, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0410-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. M. Agovino & A. Rapposelli, 2017. "Regional Performance Trends in Providing Employment for Persons with Disabilities: Evidence from Italy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 593-615, January.
    6. Michael Beckmann, 2016. "Self-managed working time and firm performance: Microeconometric evidence," Working papers 2016/01, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    7. Beckmann, Michael, 2016. "Self-managed working time and firm performance: Microeconometric evidence," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145623, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Vanessa Gash & Antje Mertens & Laura Romeu Gordo, 2010. "Women between Part-Time and Full-Time Work: The Influence of Changing Hours of Work on Happiness and Life-Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 268, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Golden, Lonnie & Wiens-Tuers, Barbara, 2006. "To your happiness? Extra hours of labor supply and worker well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 382-397, April.

    More about this item


    Job Satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy


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