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Long Work Hours: Volunteers and Conscripts

  • Drago, Robert

    ()

    (Pennsylvania State University)

  • Wooden, Mark

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Black, David

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

Panel data from Australia are used to study the prevalence of work hours mismatch among long hours workers and, more importantly, how that mismatch persists and changes over time, and what factors are associated with these changes. Particular attention is paid to the roles played by household debt, ideal worker characteristics and gender. Both static and dynamic multinomial logit models are estimated, with the dependent variable distinguishing long hours workers from other workers, and within the former, between “volunteers”, who prefer long hours, and “conscripts”, who do not. The results suggest that: (i) high levels of debt are mainly associated with conscript status; (ii) ideal worker types can be found among both volunteers and conscripts, but are much more likely to be conscripts; and (iii) women are relatively rare among long hours workers, and especially long hours volunteers, suggesting long hours jobs may be discriminatory. The research highlights the importance of distinguishing conscripts and volunteers to understand the prevalence and dynamics of long work hours.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2484.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2484.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2009, 47(3), 571-600
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2484
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  1. Linda Bell, 1998. "Differences in Work Hours and Hours Preferences by Race in the U.S," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 481-500.
  2. S. M. Shafaeddin, 2005. "Forum 2005," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 36(6), pages 1143-1162, November.
  3. Yi-Ping Tseng & Mark Wooden, 2005. "Preferred vs Actual Working Hours in Couple Households," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Merz, Joachim, 2002. "Time and Economic Well-Being--A Panel Analysis of Desired versus Actual Working Hours," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 317-46, September.
  5. Bowles, Samuel, 1985. "The Production Process in a Competitive Economy: Walrasian, Neo-Hobbesian, and Marxian Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 16-36, March.
  6. Böheim, René & Taylor, Mark P., 2001. "Actual and preferred working hours," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  7. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2004. "The HILDA Survey Four Years On," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(3), pages 343-349, 09.
  8. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
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