IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Working More? Working Less? What Do Canadian Workers Prefer?

Listed author(s):
  • Drolet, Marie
  • Morissette, Rene
Registered author(s):

    Faced with high unemployment rates, an unequal distribution of worktime, and shifts to temporary, part-time and contract employment, Canadian workers may prefer to change their work hours. Using data from the Survey of Work Arrangements of 1995, we find that two thirds of Canadian workers are satisfied with their work hours. The majority of workers who are not satisfied would prefer more hours for more pay rather than fewer hours for less pay. This finding is robust as it holds for each age group, education level, seniority level, industrial and occupational group. Workers most likely to want more work hours are generally young, have low levels of education, have little seniority, hold temporary jobs, work short hours and are employed in low-skill occupations. Workers who are the most likely to desire a shorter work week are professionals, managers, and natural and social science workers, have high hourly wage rates, possess high levels of education, have long job tenure, occupy permanent jobs and already work long hours. Calculations based on the Survey on Work Reduction of 1985 suggest that if Canadian workers were to voluntarily reduce their work week, the number of work hours available for redistribution would unlikely be sufficient to both eliminate underemployment and reduce unemployment. The potential for work time redistribution, as measured by the propensity to desire fewer hours, appears to be greatest (lowest) in age-education groups with relatively low (high) unemployment rates. This implies that the resulting decrease in unemployment and underemployment could be more pronounced in groups where workers are already relatively successful.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 1997104e.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 13 May 1997
    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1997104e
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Heckman, James J, 1974. "The Estimation of Income and Substitution Effects in a Model of Family Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(1), pages 73-85, January.
    2. Lanoie, Paul & Raymond, François & Shearer, Bruce, 1996. "Work Sharing and Productivity: Evidence from Firm Level Data," Cahiers de recherche 9619, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
    3. Dickens, William T & Lundberg, Shelly J, 1993. "Hours Restrictions and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 169-192, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Lanoie, P. & Raymond, F. & Shearer, B., 1996. "Work Sharing and Productivity: Evidence from Firm Level Data," Papers 9619, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
    6. Gordon Cleveland & Morley Gunderson & Douglas Hyatt, 1996. "Child Care Costs and the Employment Decision of Women: Canadian Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 132-151, February.
    7. Morissette, Rene, 1995. "Why Has Inequality in Weekly Earnings Increased in Canada?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995080e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    8. Shulamit B. Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1995. "The Causes of Hours Constraints: Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 914-928, November.
    9. Shulamit Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1987. "Constraints on the Choice of Work Hours: Agency vs. Specific-Capital," NBER Working Papers 2238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1997104e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Brown)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.