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Working on the Chain Gang? An Examination of Rising Effort Levels in Europe in the 1990s

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  • F Green
  • Steven McIntosh

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that, across many European countries, the 1990s have witnessed an intensification of labour effort, and investigates explanations for this process. Using data drawn from The European Survey on Working Conditions, we construct an index of work effort and show that it has reasonable properties in relation to other variables. We find that Britain has experienced the fastest rise in work effort, while in western Germany, Denmark and Greece there has been very little intensification of work effort. We show that work effort is higher in jobs that use computers more frequently, and in jobs that are more open to competitive pressures. Work effort has increased faster in countries where trade union density has declined the most. These factors are able to explain a large portion of the variation in the change of work effort between countries, but there remains a significant shift in work effort that is not accounted for by available explanatory variables.

Suggested Citation

  • F Green & Steven McIntosh, 2000. "Working on the Chain Gang? An Examination of Rising Effort Levels in Europe in the 1990s," CEP Discussion Papers dp0465, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0465
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2003. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 762-781, October.
    2. Tudela, Maria Mercedes, 2001. "Explaining currency crises: a duration model approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20133, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Overman, Henry G., 2000. "Neighbourhood effects in small neighbourhoods," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20139, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. French, Stephen & Kubo, Katsuyuki & Marsden, David, 2000. "Why does performance pay de-motivate: financial incentives versus performance appraisal," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3639, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Stephen Nickell & Patricia Jones & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "A Picture of Job Insecurity Facing British Men," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 1-27, January.
    6. Burgess, Simon & Profit, Stefan, 2001. "Externalities in the matching of workers and firms in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20130, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Litwin, Adam Seth, 2000. "Trade unions and industrial injury in Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20169, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Work effort; international comparisons;

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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