Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 143–161 | Cite as

Mismatches Between Actual and Preferred Work Time: Empirical Evidence of Hours Constraints in 21 Countries

  • Steffen OtterbachEmail author
Original Paper


This paper analyses the discrepancy between actual and desired working hours in a multinational setting. Using the latest data of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) with a focus on work orientations hours constraints in 21 heterogeneous countries are analysed. One major finding is that hours constraints are interrelated with macroeconomic variables such as (a) unemployment rates, (b) GDP per capita as a measure of welfare, (c) average weekly work hours, and (d) income inequality. A subsequent multivariate analysis reveals that, on both macro- and microlevels, sociodemographic variables like prosperity and income, high risk of unemployment, and working conditions play an important role in determining working hours constraints. The results further suggest that, with respect to working conditions, such constraints are also affected by gender issues.


Hours constraints Preferred working hours Work time 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Household and Consumer EconomicsUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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