Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 33–43 | Cite as

The Impact of Deviations from Desired Hours of Work on the Life Satisfaction of Employees

  • Cem BaşleventEmail author
  • Hasan Kirmanoğlu
Article

Abstract

We estimate an ordinal logistic multilevel model to examine the determinants of the life satisfaction of employees in Europe. Data drawn from the European social survey reveals that deviations from desired hours of work (measured as the absolute difference between the actual and preferred weekly number of hours) reduce overall life satisfaction, but the effect is smaller in countries with higher unemployment rates. We interpret this finding as evidence that in environments where anxieties about job security are high, having a job brings about a certain level of life satisfaction regardless of the gap between the actual and preferred time spent in the labor market. We also find no statistically significant difference between male and female employees with regard to the impact of the work hours mismatch. This finding suggests that the gender differences which would have been expected in this context are already incorporated in the respondents’ subjectively determined desired hours of work. In fact, further examinations confirm that ‘desired hours’ are associated with both socio-demographic characteristics (in particular, gender) and preferences for labor market work.

Keywords

Life satisfaction Work hours mismatch European social survey Ordinal logistic HLM 

References

  1. Albert, C., & Davia, M. A. (2005). Education, wages and job satisfaction. In Paper presented at the Epunet-2005 conference, Colchester, UK. Google Scholar
  2. Alesina, A., Di Tella, R., & MacCulloch, R. (2004). Inequality and happiness: Are Europeans and Americans different? Journal of Public Economics, 88(9–10), 2009–2042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anxo, D., Mencarini, L., Pailhe, A., Solaz, A., Tanturri, M. L., & Flood, L. (2011). Gender differences in time use over the life course in France, Italy, Sweden, and the US. Feminist Economics, 17(3), 159–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becchetti, L., Castriota, S., & Londoño, D. (2006) Climate, happiness and the Kyoto protocol: Someone does not like it hot. CEIS Working Paper, No: 247.Google Scholar
  5. Bell, L. A., & Freeman, R. B. (2001). The incentive for working hard: explaining hours worked differences in the US and Germany. Labour Economics, 8(2), 181–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blanchflower, D. G., & Oswald, A. J. (2004). Money, sex and happiness: An empirical study. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 106(3), 393–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blanchflower, D. G., & Oswald, A. J. (2008). Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle? Social Science and Medicine, 66(8), 1733–1749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bluestone, B., & Rose, S. (1998). Macroeconomics of work time. Review of Social Economy, 56(4), 425–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Böheim, R., & Taylor, M. P. (2004). Actual and preferred working hours. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 42(1), 149–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Booth, A. L., Francesconi, M., & Frank, J. (2003). A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender. European Economic Review, 47(2), 295–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boye, K. (2009). Relatively different? How do gender differences in well-being depend on paid and unpaid work in Europe? Social Indicators Research, 93(3), 509–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark, A. E. (1997). Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work? Labor Economics, 4(4), 341–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, A. E. (2005). What makes a good job?—Evidence from OECD countries. In S. Bazen, C. Lucifora, & W. Salverda (Eds.), Job quality and employer behaviour (pp. 11–30). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Clark, A. E., & Oswald, A. J. (1994). Unhappiness and unemployment. The Economic Journal, 104(424), 648–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crompton, R., & Lyonette, C. (2006). Work-life ‘balance’ in Europe. Acta Sociologica, 49(4), 379–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cuñado, J., & Pérez de Gracia, F. (2012). Does education affect happiness? Evidence for Spain. Social Indicators Research, 108(1), 185–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dickens, W. T., & Lundberg, S. J. (1993). Hours restrictions and labor supply. International Economic Review, 34(1), 169–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Beyond money: Toward an economy of well-being. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 5(1), 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Easterlin, R. (1974). Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. In P. A. David & M. W. Reder (Eds.), Nations and households in economic growth: Essays in honour of Moses Abramovitz (pp. 89–125). New York: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Easterlin, R. A. (2001). Life cycle welfare: Trends and differences. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. ESS. (2011). Work, family and well-being: The implications of economic recession: Module template with background information, survey questions. Document available at http://europeansocialsurvey.org.
  22. Euwals, R., & Van Soest, A. (1999). Desired and actual labour supply of unmarried men and women in the Netherlands. Labour Economics, 6(1), 95–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2000). Happiness, economy and institutions. The Economic Journal, 110(466), 918–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2002). Happiness and economics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Gallie, D., & Russell, H. (2009). Work-family conflict and working conditions in Western Europe. Social Indicators Research, 93(3), 445–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grözinger, G., Matiaske, W., & Tobsch, V. (2008). Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik. SOEP Papers, No. 103, DIW Berlin.Google Scholar
  27. Hayo, B. (2004). Happiness in Eastern Europe. Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200412, Philipps-Universität Marburg.Google Scholar
  28. Heineck, G., & Möller, J. (2012). Geschlechtsspezifisches Arbeitsmarktverhalten, Verdienste und Wohlbefinden im Familienkontext. In H. Bertram & M. Bujard (Eds.), Zeit, Geld, Infrastruktur—zur Zukunft der Familienpolitik, Soziale Welt—Sonderband 19. Baden–Baden: Nomos.Google Scholar
  29. Holly, S., & Mohnen, A. (2012). Impact of working hours on work–life balance. SOEP Papers, No. 471, DIW Berlin.Google Scholar
  30. Hooker, K., & Siegler, I. C. (1993). Life goals, satisfaction, and self-rated health: Preliminary findings. Experimental Aging Research, 19(1), 97–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jacobs, J., & Gerson, K. (2004). The time divide: Work, family, and gender inequality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Lazear, E. P., & Rosen, S. (1990). Male-female wage differentials in job ladders. Journal of Labor Economics, 8(1), S106–S123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McBride, M. (2001). Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 45(3), 251–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McGinnity, F., & Whelan, C. T. (2009). Comparing work-life conflict in Europe: Evidence from the European social survey. Social Indicators Research, 93(3), 433–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Okun, M. A., Stock, W. A., Haring, M. J., & Witter, R. A. (1984). Health and subjective well-being: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 19(2), 111–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Otterbach, S. (2010). Mismatches between actual and preferred work time: Empirical evidence of hours constraints in 21 countries. Journal of Consumer Policy, 33(2), 143–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Paull, G. (2008). Children and women’s hours of work. Economic Journal, 118(526), F8–F27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Peck, M. D., & Merighi, J. R. (2007). The relation of social comparison to subjective well-being and health status in older adults. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 16(3), 121–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Raudenbush, S., Bryk, A., & Congdon, R. (2004). HLM for Windows. Version 6.08.Google Scholar
  40. Reynolds, J. (2004). When too much is not enough: Actual and preferred work hours in the United States and abroad. Sociological Forum, 19(1), 89–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Reynolds, J., & Aletraris, L. (2006). Pursuing preferences: The creation and resolution of work hour mismatches. American Sociological Review, 71(4), 618–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scherer, S., & Steiber, N. (2007). Work and family in conflict? The impact of work demands on family life in six European countries. In D. Gallie (Ed.), Employment systems and the quality of working life (pp. 137–178). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Schneider, S. (2009). Confusing credentials: The cross-nationally comparable measurement of educational attainment. UK: DPhil, Oxford University.Google Scholar
  44. Steiber, N. (2009). Reported levels of time-based and strain-based conflict between work and family roles in Europe: A multilevel approach. Social Indicators Research, 93(3), 469–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stewart, M. B., & Swaffield, J. K. (1997). Constraints on the desired hours of work of British men. Economic Journal, 107(441), 520–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stier, H., & Lewin-Epstein, N. (2003). Time to work: A comparative analysis of preferences for working hours. Work and Occupations, 30(3), 302–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Winkelmann, L., & Winkelmann, R. (1995). Unemployment: Where does it Hurt? CEPR Discussion Papers, No: 1093.Google Scholar
  48. Wooden, M., Warren, D., & Drago, R. (2009). Working time mismatch and subjective well-being. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 47(1), 147–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wunder, C., & Heineck, G. (2012). Working time preferences, hours mismatch and well-being of couples: Are there spillovers? SOEP Papers, No. 471, DIW Berlin.Google Scholar
  50. Yang, Y. (2008). Social inequalities in happiness in the United States, 1972 to 2004: An age-period-cohort analysis. American Sociological Review, 73(2), 204–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsIstanbul Bilgi UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations