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Why Has Work Effort Become More Intense?

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  • Francis Green

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Abstract

Effort-biased technological change and other explanations for work intensification are investigated. It is hypothesised that technological and organizational changes are one important source of work intensification and supportive evidence is found using establishment data for Britain in the 1990s. Work intensification has also been stimulated by the use of high-commitment human resource policies. A reduction in union power, and a rise in the use of temporary agency workers and contractors, were positively associated with work intensification; however, their impact during the 1990s was comparatively modest.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Green, 2002. "Why Has Work Effort Become More Intense?," Studies in Economics 0207, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0207
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    3. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
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    5. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    6. Green, Francis, 2000. "The Impact of Company Human Resource Policies on Social Skills: Implications for Training Sponsorship, Quit Rates and Efficiency Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(3), pages 251-272, August.
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    9. Green, Francis & Felstead, Alan & Burchell, Brendan, 2000. " Job Insecurity and the Difficulty of Regaining Employment: An Empirical Study of Unemployment Expectations," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(0), pages 855-883, Special I.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cécile Cézanne, 2010. "Un modèle renouvelé de gouvernance d'entreprise : une évaluation empirique sur données françaises," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 120(4), pages 669-700.
    2. Benjamin Bental & Dominique Demougin, 2006. "Institutions, Bargaining Power and Labor Shares," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-009, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. David Marsden, 2010. "Individual Voice in Employment Relationships: A Comparison Under Different Collective Voice Regimes," CEP Discussion Papers dp1006, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. Annalisa Cristini & Alessandro Gaj & Riccardo Leoni, 2008. "Direct and Indirect Complementarity between Workplace Reorganization and New Technology," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(2), pages 87-117, March-Apr.
    5. repec:hal:journl:hal-00710213 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Peter Skott & Frederick Guy, 2007. "Power, productivity and profits," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2007-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    7. Francis Green & Nicholas Tsitsianis, 2004. "Can the Changing Nature of Jobs Account for National Trends in Job Satisfaction?," Studies in Economics 0406, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    8. Peter Skott, 2011. "Heterodox macro after the crisis," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-23, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    9. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
    10. Philippe Askenazy & Eve Caroli, 2006. "Innovative work practices, information technologies and working conditions: evidence for France," EconomiX Working Papers 2006-2, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    11. Michael Bittman & Judith Brown & Judy Wajcman, 2009. "The Cell Phone, Constant Connection and Time Scarcity in Australia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 229-233, August.
    12. Bental, Benjamin & Demougin, Dominique, 2010. "Declining labor shares and bargaining power: An institutional explanation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 443-456, March.
    13. Skott, Peter & Guy, Frederick, 2007. "A model of power-biased technological change," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 124-131, April.
    14. William Brown & David Marsden, 2010. "Individualisation and Growing Diversity of Employment Relationships," CEP Discussion Papers dp1037, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. Gayle Porter, 2010. "Work Ethic and Ethical Work: Distortions in the American Dream," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(4), pages 535-550, November.
    16. Sergio De Nardis & Marco Malgarini, 2008. "Monitoring Italy 2007," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(2), pages 3-13, March-Apr.
    17. David Fairris, 2004. "Towards a Theory of Work Intensity," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 587-601, Fall.
    18. Peter Skott & Frederick Guy, 2005. "Power-Biased Technological Change and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2005-17, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour supply; work effort; work intensity; wages; technical change; work organisation; unions; high commitment policies; incentives.;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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