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Long work hours and the wellbeing of fathers and their families

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Gray

    () (Australian Institute of Family Studies)

  • Lixia Qu

    (ANU)

Abstract

The average hours worked by full-time employees in Australia have increased since the late 1970s. This, combined with increases in female labour force participation, has led to concerns about the impact of long work hours on family life. This paper explores the relationship between fathers' work hours, their own wellbeing and that of their families using data from the HILDA survey. Overall, satisfaction with work hours decreases as the number of hours worked increases beyond the standard working week. However, long hours are not necessarily, or even on average associated with pervasively lower wellbeing. Work hours are negatively related to only two of the thirteen measures of wellbeing examined. For fathers working very long hours, their satisfaction with their work hours is found to be very important to the relationship between work hours and wellbeing.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gray & Lixia Qu, 2004. "Long work hours and the wellbeing of fathers and their families," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 255-273, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:7:y:2004:i:2:p:255-273
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
    2. Robert Cummins & Helen Nistico, 2002. "Maintaining Life Satisfaction: The Role of Positive Cognitive Bias," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 37-69, March.
    3. Mark Wooden & Diana Warren, 2003. "The Characteristics of Casual and Fixed-Term Employment: Evidence from the HILDA Survey," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "The Growth of Jobless Households in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(2), pages 133-154.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cowling, Marc, 2007. "Still At Work? An empirical test of competing theories of long hours culture," MPRA Paper 1614, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Leila Maron & Danièle Meulders, 2008. "Effets de la parentalité sur l'emploi en Europe," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 51(2/3), pages 185-220.
    3. repec:spr:ariqol:v:12:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11482-016-9471-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rubia R. Valente & Brian J. L. Berry, 2016. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Latin America and the United States," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1173-1204, June.
    5. repec:exl:22evid:v:2013:y:2013:i:4:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Dockery, Alfred & Li, Jianghong & Kendall, Garth, 2009. "Parents' work patterns and adolescent mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 689-698, February.
    7. Paul Callister, 2005. "The changing gender distribution of paid and unpaid work in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/07, New Zealand Treasury.
    8. Robert Rudolf, 2014. "Work Shorter, Be Happier? Longitudinal Evidence from the Korean Five-Day Working Policy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1139-1163, October.
    9. Nick Parr, 2010. "Childlessness Among Men in Australia," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(3), pages 319-338, June.
    10. Aydogan Ulker, 2006. "Do Non-standard Working Hours Cause Negative Health Effects? Some Evidence from Panel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 518, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    11. Maria Pereira & Filipe Coelho, 2013. "Work Hours and Well Being: An Investigation of Moderator Effects," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 235-253, March.
    12. Bryan, Mark L. & Nandi, Alita, 2015. "Working hours, work identity and subjective wellbeing," ISER Working Paper Series 2015-21, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. 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

    Keywords

    Labor Force and Employment; Size; and Structure (by industry; occupation; demographic characteristics; etc.) Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity (Formal Training Programs; On-the-Job Training) Time Allocation; Work Behavior; and Employment Determination: Other Particular Labor Markets: Public Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J29 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Other
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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