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Unpaid Overtime in Germany: Differences between East and West

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  • Anger, Silke

Abstract

Although the standard work week is longer in East than in West Germany, there is a higher incidence and average amount of unpaid overtime worked in the new states. We try to explain the striking differences in unpaid overtime by analyzing the labor supply side. We focus on the investment character of overtime and examine whether workers use unpaid extra hours to signal higher productivity so as to reduce the risk of losing their job. Using panel data from the SOEP and approximating the risk of unemployment with regional unemployment rates we find partial evidence for the unemployment-overtime hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Anger, Silke, 2005. "Unpaid Overtime in Germany: Differences between East and West," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 17-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:68491
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bauer, Thomas & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1999. "Overtime Work and Overtime Compensation in Germany," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(4), pages 419-436, September.
    2. Bell, David N F & Hart, Robert A, 1999. "Unpaid Work," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 271-290, May.
    3. Bell, David N.F. & Hart, Robert A. & Hübler, Olaf & Schwerdt, Wolfgang, 2000. "Paid and Unpaid Overtime Working in Germany and the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 133, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Bell, Linda A. & Freeman, Richard B., 2001. "The incentive for working hard: explaining hours worked differences in the US and Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-202, May.
    5. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2003. "A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-322, April.
    6. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    7. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-348, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Plum, Alexander & Knies, Gundi, 2015. "Does neighbourhood unemployment affect the springboard effect of low pay?," ISER Working Paper Series 2015-20, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Silke Anger, 2007. "The Cyclicality of Effective Wages within Employer-Employee Matches: Evidence from German Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 719, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Sjögren Lindquist, Gabriella, 2010. "Tournaments and unfair treatment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 670-682, December.
    4. Carr, Michael D., 2011. "Work hours and wage inequality: Evidence from the 2004 WERS," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 417-427, August.
    5. Anger, Silke, 2008. "Overtime Work as a Signaling Device," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 167-189.
    6. Silke Anger, 2005. "Working Time as an Investment?: The Effects of Unpaid Overtime on Wages, Promotions, and Layoffs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 535, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Christian Pfeifer, 2015. "Effective working hours and wages: the case of downward adjustment via paid absenteeism," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 612-626.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unpaid overtime; labor supply; signaling; unemployment; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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