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Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik


  • Gerd Grözinger
  • Wenzel Matiaske
  • Verena Tobsch


Whereas preferences of consumers are a cornerstone of market economies, preferences of employees e.g. regarding the preferred amount of paid labour are mostly not. However, we find strong evidence that differences between aspired and actually worked weekly hours have a serious negative impact on all three dimensions of satisfaction considered: Life satisfaction, which in turn is strongly related to many dimensions of social life; satisfaction with work, which affects productivity directly and health satisfaction, which influences morbidity and mortality as shown by studies of the WHO. This paper investigates the gap between employees preferences and realities by means of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) data. Although restricted to Germany, our basic findings are much in accordance with European-wide research projects, especially by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The central analyzed question is: How many hours one would like to work, taking into account that earnings would change accordingly. A majority of German employees wanted a labor time reduction and only a small minority prefers an enlargement. By combining both effects, more than 2,4 million additional employees could have been statistically brought into work again. In addition, satisfaction would have been improved, consumerism somewhat mellowed. And, since mainly persons with children wanted to reduce their working hours, family life would have gained significantly. Der Beitrag untersucht auf Basis des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels 2004 die Arbeitszeitwünsche der abhängig Beschäftigten in Deutschland unter Berücksichtigung von damit einhergehenden Einkommensveränderungen. Es wird gezeigt, dass die in der arbeitsmarktpolitischen Diskussion häufig übersehenen Zeitpräferenzen der Arbeitnehmer und Arbeitnehmerinnen von hoher Relevanz für die Lebens-, Gesundheits- und Arbeitszufriedenheit sind. Fallen gewünschte und realisierte Arbeitszeit auseinander, sinkt die jeweilige Bereichszufriedenheit erheblich. Zufrieden mit ihrer Arbeitszeit ist ein gutes Viertel. Ihre bezahlten Wochenstunden erhöhen möchten weniger als ein Fünftel, vorwiegend teilbeschäftigte Männer in den neuen Bundesländern. Dagegen wollen mehr als die Hälfte der Befragten sie senken, und zwar Männer wie Frauen. Alle Wünsche zusammen genommen ergibt sich, wie auch schon in anderen Studien berichtet, ein rechnerisches Umverteilungsvolumen von über 2,4 Mill. Vollzeitstellen. Zur Erreichung einer besseren Präferenzumsetzung wird eine neue Einrichtung vorgeschlagen: Eine Arbeitszeitagentur. In institutioneller Analogie zur Zentralbank sollte sie unabhängig sein, mit der Zielvorgabe, mit Hilfe von Arbeitszeitpolitik Arbeitslosigkeit zu bekämpfen.

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  • Gerd Grözinger & Wenzel Matiaske & Verena Tobsch, 2008. "Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 103, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp103

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wunder, Christoph & Heineck, Guido, 2013. "Working time preferences, hours mismatch and well-being of couples: Are there spillovers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 244-252.
    2. Elke Wolf, 2014. "The German Part-Time Wage Gap: Bad News for Men," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 663, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Cem Başlevent, 2014. "The Work-Life Conflict and Well-Being of Turkish Employees," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 57-76, January.
    4. David Bell & Steffen Otterbach & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2012. "Work Hours Constraints and Health," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 105-106, pages 35-54.
    5. Michael Schwendinger, 2015. "Arbeitszeiten in Österreich," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 148, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    6. Steffen Otterbach, 2010. "Mismatches Between Actual and Preferred Work Time: Empirical Evidence of Hours Constraints in 21 Countries," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 143-161, June.
    7. Sarah Holly & Alwine Mohnen, 2012. "Impact of Working Hours on Work-Life Balance," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 465, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Weber, Enzo & Zimmert, Franziska, 2017. "The creation and resolution of working hour discrepancies over the life course," IAB Discussion Paper 201729, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    9. Ehing, Daniel, 2013. "Unter- und Überbeschäftigung in Deutschland: Eine Analyse wesentlicher Einflussfaktoren auf die Unterbeschäftigung in Teilzeit," FZG Discussion Papers 53, University of Freiburg, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG).
    10. repec:eee:ecolec:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:27-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Cem Baslevent, 2014. "The Work-Life Conflict and Well-Being of Turkish Employees," Working Papers 827, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2014.
    12. Cem Başlevent & Hasan Kirmanoğlu, 2014. "The Impact of Deviations from Desired Hours of Work on the Life Satisfaction of Employees," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 33-43, August.
    13. Wunder, Christoph, 2016. "Working hours mismatch and well-being: comparative evidence from Australian and German panel data," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145544, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Wanger, Susanne, 2017. "What makes employees satisfied with their working time? : The role of working hours, time-sovereignty and working conditions for working time and job satisfaction," IAB Discussion Paper 201720, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    15. Cem Başlevent & Hasan Kirmanoğlu, 2017. "Gender Inequality in Europe and the Life Satisfaction of Working and Non-working Women," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 107-124, February.

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    Labour market; workings hours; unemployment; happiness; satisfaction;

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