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Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-time Work Puzzle

  • Booth, Alison L
  • van Ours, Jan C

Using fixed effects ordered logit estimation, we investigate the relationship between part-time work and working hours satisfaction; job satisfaction; and life satisfaction. We account for interdependence within the family using data on partnered men and women from the British Household Panel Survey. We find that men have the highest hours-of-work satisfaction if they work full-time without overtime hours but neither their job satisfaction nor their life satisfaction are affected by how many hours they work. Life satisfaction is influenced only by whether or not they have a job. For women we are confronted with a puzzle. Hours satisfaction and job satisfaction indicate that women prefer part-time jobs irrespective of whether these are small or large. In contrast, female life satisfaction is virtually unaffected by hours of work. Women without children do not care about their hours of work at all, while women with children are significantly happier if they have a job regardless of how many hours it entails.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6471.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6471
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  1. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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  5. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  6. Mary Gregory & Sara Connolly, 2007. "Moving Down: Women`s Part-time Work and Occupational Change in Britain 1991-2001," Economics Series Working Papers 359, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Joan R. Rodgers, 2004. "Hourly Wages of full-time and part-time employees in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 231-254, June.
  8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 1-30.
  9. John F. Ermisch & Robert E. Wright, 1993. "Wage Offers and Full-Time and Part-Time Employment by British Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 111-133.
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  17. Main, Brian G M, 1988. "Hourly Earnings of Female Part-time versus Full-time Employees," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 56(4), pages 331-44, December.
  18. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  19. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
  20. Nick Carroll, 2005. "Unemployment and Psychological Well-Being," CEPR Discussion Papers 492, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  21. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Subjective Well-Being and the Family: Results from an Ordered Probit Model with Multiple Random Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 1016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  23. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  24. Gerlach, Knut & Stephan, Gesine, 1996. "A paper on unhappiness and unemployment in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 325-330, September.
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