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http://ssrn.com/abstract=788431
 
 

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The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on this Paper


Daniel S. Hamermesh


University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Joel B. Slemrod


University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

August 2005

NBER Working Paper No. w11566

Abstract:     
A large literature examines the addictive properties of such behaviors as smoking, drinking alcohol and eating. We argue that for some people addictive behavior may apply to a much more central aspect of economic life: working. Workaholism is subject to the same concerns about the individual as other addictions, is more likely to be a problem of higher-income individuals, and can, under conditions of jointness in the workplace or the household, generate negative spillovers onto individuals around the workaholic. Using the Retirement History Survey and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we find evidence that is consistent with the idea that high-income, highly educated people suffer from workaholism with regard to retiring, in that they are more likely to postpone earlier plans for retirement. The evidence and theory suggest that the negative effects of workaholism can be addressed with a more progressive income tax system than would be appropriate in the absence of this behavior.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

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Date posted: October 5, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Hamermesh, Daniel S. and Slemrod, Joel B., The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on this Paper (August 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11566. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=788431

Contact Information

Daniel S. Hamermesh (Contact Author)
University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )
Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-475-8526 (Phone)
512-471-3510 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Joel B. Slemrod
University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )
701 Tappan Street
Room A2120
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States
734-936-3914 (Phone)
734-763-4032 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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