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The Long Term Pay-Off From Working Longer Hours

  • David Campbell

    ()

  • Francis Green

    ()

Using data from the first six waves of the British Household Panel Survey, we estimate the impact of working longer hours over 1991 to 1995 on 1996 wages. We find that there are positive but diminishing long-term returns, with the returns becoming negative beyond 47 hours for women and 59 hours for men. The returns are greater at the margin for "unpaid" hours than for "paid" hours. Evaluated at the mean, an extra unpaid hour over 1991 to 1995 raised 1996 pay by 4 percent, an extra paid hour by 1 percent. It also pays off to work longer hours than the norm for the industry. While there are no significant differences between the marginal effects for men and women, conditional on hours worked the incentives are greater for women than for men. These findings are consistent with the possibility that increasing UK wage inequality is associated with an upward impact on work hours.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/0205.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 0205.

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Date of creation: May 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0205
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 827497
Web page: http://www.kent.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. 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.
  2. Bell, Linda A. & Freeman, Richard B., 2001. "The incentive for working hard: explaining hours worked differences in the US and Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-202, May.
  3. 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.
  4. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
  5. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
  6. James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor, 1991. "Do Labor Markets Provide Enough Short Hour Jobs? An Analysis of Work Hours and Work Incentives," NBER Working Papers 3883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Francis Green, 2001. "It's Been A Hard Day's Night: The Concentration and Intensification of Work in Late Twentieth-Century Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 53-80, 03.
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