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Job changes, hours changes and labour market flexibility: panel data evidence for Britain

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Blundell

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL)

  • Mike Brewer

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Essex)

  • Marco Francesconi

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Essex)

Abstract

This study uses the first twelve waves of the British Household Panel Survey covering the period 1991-2002 to investigate the extent of constraints on desired hours of work within jobs and the degree of flexibility of the labour market for a sample of women. Our main findings are as follows. First, the largest movements in hours worked are observed for workers who change their jobs. Second, about 40 percent of the women in the sample are not putting in the hours they would like. Most of them (mainly full-timers) would like to work fewer hours at the prevailing hourly wage. Again, women who change job experience the greatest hours changes, especially if they are over- or under-employed. Third, there is evidence of hours constraints. The hours movements among quitters are up to 5 hours greater than the movements among stayers. Fourth, we do not detect systematic time trends in the relationship between hours changes and job changes. But there is some evidence that overemployed women find it increasingly more difficult to move towards their desired hours even after changing job. Fifth, the evidence on a flexible labour market is mixed. We find only partial support for the hypothesis that overemployed or underemployed quitters receive compensating wage differentials if the new job does not satisfy their hours preferences, as well as for the hypothesis that quitters get a wage premium when they end up moving to jobs that constraint their desired hours.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Blundell & Mike Brewer & Marco Francesconi, 2005. "Job changes, hours changes and labour market flexibility: panel data evidence for Britain," IFS Working Papers W05/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:05/12
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    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0512.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John C. Ham, 1982. "Estimation of a Labour Supply Model with Censoring Due to Unemployment and Underemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 335-354.
    2. Booth, Alison L & Jenkins, Stephen P & Serrano, Carlos Garcia, 1999. " New Men and New Women? A Comparison of Paid Work Propensities from a Panel Data Perspective," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(2), pages 167-197, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Marco Francesconi, 2002. "A Joint Dynamic Model of Fertility and Work of Married Women," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 336-380, Part.
    5. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1991. "The Effect of Hours Constraints on Labor Supply Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 605-611, November.
    6. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1985. "Tied Wage-Hours Offers and the Endogeneity of Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 405-410, August.
    7. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 1998. "Job Change Patterns And The Wages Of Young Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 276-286, May.
    8. Blank, Rebecca M, 1989. "The Role of Part-Time Work in Women's Labor Market Choices over Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 295-299, May.
    9. Biddle, Jeff E & Zarkin, Gary A, 1989. "Choice among Wage-Hours Packages: An Empirical Investigation of Male Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 415-437, October.
    10. Rosen, Sherwin, 1987. "The theory of equalizing differences," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 641-692 Elsevier.
    11. Rosen, Harvey S, 1976. "Taxes in a Labor Supply Model with Joint Wage-Hours Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(3), pages 485-507, May.
    12. Yoram Barzel, 1973. "The Determination of Daily Hours and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 220-238.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Breunig & Xiaodong Gong & Gordon Leslie, 2015. "The Dynamics of Satisfaction with Working Hours in Australia: The Usefulness of Panel Data in Evaluating the Case for Policy Intervention," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 130-154, January.
    2. Cyrus Farsian, 2011. "The Fallacy of Composition Bias in the RealWage Cyclicality Puzzle," Studies in Economics 1116, School of Economics, University of Kent.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job mobility; Hours constraints; Labour supply preferences; Hours-wage trade-off; Part-time employment.;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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