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Long work hours and the wellbeing of fathers and their families

Author

Listed:
  • Ruth Weston

    (Australian Institute of Family Studies)

  • Matthew Gray

    (Australian National University)

  • Lixia Qu

    (Australian Institute of Family Studies)

  • David Stanton

    (Stanton Strategic Solutions)

Abstract

The average hours worked by full-time employees in Australia have increased since the late 1970s. This, combined with increases in female labour force participation, has led to concerns about the impact of long work hours on family life. This paper explores the relationship between fathers' work hours, their own wellbeing and that of their families using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. The analysis is restricted to full-time employed fathers with a partner and dependent children. Overall, satisfaction with work hours decreases as the number of hours worked increases. However, long work hours are not necessarily, or even on average associated with pervasively lower wellbeing. Work hours are negatively related to only two of the thirteen measures of wellbeing examined. For fathers working very long hours, their satisfaction with their work hours is found to be very important to the relationship between work hours and wellbeing.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth Weston & Matthew Gray & Lixia Qu & David Stanton, 2004. "Long work hours and the wellbeing of fathers and their families," Labor and Demography 0405007, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0405007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
    2. Robert Cummins & Helen Nistico, 2002. "Maintaining Life Satisfaction: The Role of Positive Cognitive Bias," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 37-69, March.
    3. Mark Wooden & Diana Warren, 2003. "The Characteristics of Casual and Fixed-Term Employment: Evidence from the HILDA Survey," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "The Growth of Jobless Households in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(2), pages 133-154.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cowling, Marc, 2007. "Still At Work? An empirical test of competing theories of long hours culture," MPRA Paper 1614, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Leila Maron & Danièle Meulders, 2008. "Effets de la parentalité sur l'emploi en Europe," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 51(2/3), pages 185-220.
    3. repec:spr:ariqol:v:12:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11482-016-9471-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rubia R. Valente & Brian J. L. Berry, 2016. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Latin America and the United States," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1173-1204, June.
    5. repec:exl:22evid:v:2013:y:2013:i:4:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Dockery, Alfred & Li, Jianghong & Kendall, Garth, 2009. "Parents' work patterns and adolescent mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 689-698, February.
    7. Paul Callister, 2005. "The changing gender distribution of paid and unpaid work in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/07, New Zealand Treasury.
    8. Robert Rudolf, 2014. "Work Shorter, Be Happier? Longitudinal Evidence from the Korean Five-Day Working Policy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1139-1163, October.
    9. Bryan, Mark L. & Nandi, Alita, 2015. "Working hours, work identity and subjective wellbeing," ISER Working Paper Series 2015-21, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    10. Nick Parr, 2010. "Childlessness Among Men in Australia," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(3), pages 319-338, June.
    11. Aydogan Ulker, 2006. "Do Non-standard Working Hours Cause Negative Health Effects? Some Evidence from Panel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 518, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    12. Maria Pereira & Filipe Coelho, 2013. "Work Hours and Well Being: An Investigation of Moderator Effects," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 235-253, March.
    13. Golden, Lonnie & Wiens-Tuers, Barbara, 2006. "To your happiness? Extra hours of labor supply and worker well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 382-397, April.

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    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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