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Work hours constraints and health

  • Bell, David
  • Otterbach, Steffen
  • Sousa-Poza, Alfonso

The issue of whether employees who work more hours than they want to suffer adverse health consequences is important not only at the individual level but also for governmental formation of work time policy. Our study investigates this question by analyzing the impact of the discrepancy between actual and desired work hours on self-perceived health outcomes in Germany and the United Kingdom. Based on nationally representative longitudinal data, our results show that work-hour mismatches (i.e., differences between actual and desired hours) have negative effects on workers' health. In particular, we show that overemployment - working more hours than desired - has negative effects on different measures of self-perceived health.

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Paper provided by University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) in its series FZID Discussion Papers with number 36-2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:362011
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  1. Euwals, R.W. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1996. "Desired and Actual Labour Supply of Unmarried Men and Women in the Netherlands," Discussion Paper 1996-23, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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  10. Linda A. Bell & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "The Incentive for Working Hard: Explaining Hours Worked Differences in the U.S. and Germany," NBER Working Papers 8051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Joachim Merz & Tim Rathjen, 2009. "Time and Income Poverty - An Interdependent Multidimensional Poverty Approach with German Time Use Diary Data," FFB-Discussionpaper 79, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  13. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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  17. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 409-426, December.
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  21. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2003. "Asymmetric information about workers' productivity as a cause for inefficient long working hours," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 727-747, December.
  22. Gregori Baetschmann & Kevin E. Staub & Rainer Winkelmann, 2011. "Reconsidering the analysis of longitudinal happiness data - with an application to the effect of unemployment," ECON - Working Papers 004, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2011.
  23. Shulamit Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1996. "Hours Constraints and the Wage/Hours Locus," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 71-75, April.
  24. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  25. Gerd Grözinger & Wenzel Matiaske & Verena Tobsch, 2008. "Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 103, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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