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Work Shorter, Be Happier? Longitudinal Evidence from the Korean Five-Day Working Policy

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  • Robert Rudolf

Abstract

This article uses detailed longitudinal data from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study for the period 1998–2008 to analyze the happiness impact of working hours reductions on workers and their families. The major contribution to the literature is the use of an exogenous reduction in working hours, due to the Korean Five-Day Working Reform, in a subjective well-being (SWB) model. The findings indicate that reductions did not have the expected positive effects on worker well-being. While satisfaction with working hours increased, reductions had no impact on job and life satisfaction. Thus, long working hours might not be as negatively related to worker well-being as predicted by theory. Moreover, positive SWB effects might be offset by rising work intensity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:15:y:2014:i:5:p:1139-1163
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-013-9468-1
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    3. Andrea Albanese & Bart Cockx & Yannick Thuy, 2020. "Working time reductions at the end of the career: Do they prolong the time spent in employment?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(1), pages 99-141, July.
    4. Qinglong Shao, 2022. "Exploring the promoting effect of working time reduction on life satisfaction using Germany as a case study," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 1-8, December.
    5. Lepinteur, Anthony, 2019. "The shorter workweek and worker wellbeing: Evidence from Portugal and France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 204-220.
    6. Rubia R. Valente & Brian J. L. Berry, 2017. "Acculturation of Immigrant Latinos into the U.S. Workplace: Evidence from the Working Hours-life Satisfaction Relationship," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 451-479, June.
    7. Ravaska, Terhi, 2023. "Do reduced working hours for older workers have health consequences and prolong work careers?," Working Papers 153, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Ricardo Pagan, 2017. "Impact of Working Time Mismatch on Job Satisfaction: Evidence for German Workers with Disabilities," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 125-149, February.
    9. Robert Rudolf & Sung-Jin Kang, 2015. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction in Korea: When Gender Matters," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 136-163, January.
    10. Francis Green & Alan Felstead & Duncan Gallie & Golo Henseke, 2022. "Working Still Harder," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 75(2), pages 458-487, March.
    11. Costa-Font, J.; & Saenz de Miera Juarez, B., 2021. "Working the Weight Out? Working Time Reduction and Overweight," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 21/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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