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Women between Part-Time and Full-Time Work: The Influence of Changing Hours of Work on Happiness and Life-Satisfaction

  • Vanessa Gash
  • Antje Mertens
  • Laura Romeu Gordo

This paper asks whether part-time work makes women happy. Previous research on labour supply has assumed that as workers freely choose their optimal working hours on the basis of their innate preferences and the hourly wage rate, outcome reflects preference. This paper tests this assumption by measuring the impact of changes in working-hours on life satisfaction in two countries (the UK and Germany using the German Socio-Economic Panel and the British Household Panel Survey). We find decreases in working-hours bring about positive and significant improvement on well-being for women.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.347227.de/diw_sp0268.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 268.

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Length: 39 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp268
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  1. Gerlach, Knut & Stephan, Gesine, 1996. "A paper on unhappiness and unemployment in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 325-330, September.
  2. Francis Green & Nicholas Tsitsianis, 2005. "An Investigation of National Trends in Job Satisfaction in Britain and Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 401-429, 09.
  3. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  5. Booth, A.L. & van Ours, J.C., 2006. "Hours of Work and Gender Identity : Does Part-time Work make the Family Happier?," Discussion Paper 2006-2, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  8. Blank, Rebecca M, 1988. "Simultaneously Modeling the Supply of Weeks and Hours of Work among Female Household Heads," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 177-204, April.
  9. Eva M. Berger, 2009. "Maternal Employment and Happiness: The Effect of Non-Participation and Part-Time Employment on Mothers' Life Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 178, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. 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).
  11. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  12. Rebecca M. Blank, 1994. "The Dynamics of Part-Time Work," NBER Working Papers 4911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bardasi, Elena & Francesconi, Marco, 2003. "The impact of atypical employment on individual wellbeing: evidence from a panel of British workers," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  14. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  15. Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2006. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 2001. "The relationship between happiness, health, and socio-economic factors: results based on Swedish microdata," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 553-557.
  17. Alison L. Booth & Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-time Work Puzzle," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1000, The University of Melbourne.
  18. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 1999. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 42, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
  20. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  21. Eiko Kenjoh, 2005. "New Mothers' Employment and Public Policy in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Japan," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 5-49, December.
  22. Wolf, Elke, 1998. "Do hours restrictions matter? A discrete family labor supply model with endogenous wages and hours restrictions," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  23. Mary Gregory & Sara Connolly, 2008. "Feature: The Price of Reconciliation: Part-Time Work, Families and Women's Satisfaction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F1-F7, 02.
  24. Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2002. "Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe," IBES Diskussionsbeiträge 120, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Business and Economic Studie (IBES).
  25. 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.
  26. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  27. 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.
  28. Francis Green, 2004. "Work Intensification, Discretion, and the Decline in Well-Being at Work," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 615-625, Fall.
  29. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
  30. Runt Veenhoven, 2002. "Why Social Policy Needs Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 33-46, June.
  31. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
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