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

  • Booth, Alison L.

    ()

    (Australian National University)

  • van Ours, Jan C.

    ()

    (Tilburg University)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3020.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2008, 118 (526) , F77–F99
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3020
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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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  4. Alison Booth & Jan van Ours, 2005. "Hours of Work and Gender Identity: Does Part-time Work Make the Family Happier?," CEPR Discussion Papers 507, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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  8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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  17. Francesconi, Marco, 2001. " Determinants and Consequences of Promotions in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(3), pages 279-310, July.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Sara Connolly & Mary Gregory, 2008. "Moving Down: Women's Part-Time Work and Occupational Change in Britain 1991-2001," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F52-F76, 02.
  22. Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2007. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 6058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. 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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