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The effect of hours of work on social interaction

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  • Henry Saffer

    ()

  • Karine Lamiraud

    ()

Abstract

Over time, increases in hours of work per capita have created the intuitively plausible notion that there is less time available to pursue social interactions. The specific question addressed in this paper is the effect of hours of work on social interaction. This is a difficult empirical question since omitted factors could increase both hours of work and social interaction. The approach taken in this paper utilizes an exogenous decline in hours of work in France due to a new employment law. The results clearly show that the employment law reduced hours of work but there is no evidence that the extra hours went to increased social interactions. Although hours of work are not an important determinant of social interaction, human capital is found to be important. The effect of human capital, as measured by education and age, is positive for membership groups but negative for visiting relatives and friends. Also, contrary to expectations, there are no important differences in the determinants of social interaction by gender, marital status or parent status. Finally, a comparison between France and the US show that the response to human capital and other variables are much the same in both nations.
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Suggested Citation

  • Henry Saffer & Karine Lamiraud, 2012. "The effect of hours of work on social interaction," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 237-258, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:10:y:2012:i:2:p:237-258
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-011-9118-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Saffer, Henry, 2008. "The demand for social interaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1047-1060, June.
    2. Rupasingha, Anil & Goetz, Stephan J. & Freshwater, David, 2006. "The production of social capital in US counties," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 83-101, February.
    3. Lionel Prouteau & François-Charles Wolff, 2002. "La participation associative au regard des temps sociaux," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 352(1), pages 57-80.
    4. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-338, May.
    5. repec:hrv:faseco:30726298 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Marcello M. Estevão & Filipa G Sa, 2006. "Are the French Happy with the 35-Hour Workweek?," IMF Working Papers 06/251, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Michael, Robert T, 1973. "Education in Nonmarket Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 306-327, Part I, M.
    8. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding the Decline in Social Capital, 1952-1998," NBER Working Papers 8295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952--1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0510 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Berniell, Maria Ines & Bietenbeck, Jan, 2017. "The Effect of Working Hours on Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Kunze, Lars & Suppa, Nicolai, 2017. "Bowling alone or bowling at all? The effect of unemployment on social participation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 213-235.
    5. Maurizio Pugno, 2014. "Scitovsky's The Joyless Economy and the economics of happiness," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 278-303, April.
    6. Lars Kunze & Nicolai Suppa, 2014. "Bowling Alone or Bowling at All? The Effect of Unemployment on Social Participation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0510, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Rupasingha, Anil, 2016. "Wage Determination in Social Occupations: The Role of Individual Social Capital," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2016-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social interaction; France; Time use; Hours of work; J290;

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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