Employee-friendly Labour Time: A Key Element to a Sustainable Pattern of Production and Consumption (Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik)

23 Pages Posted: 7 May 2008

See all articles by Gerd Grözinger

Gerd Grözinger

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Wenzel Matiaske

Helmut-Schmidt-University / University of the Armed Forces; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Verena Tobsch

Helmut-Schmidt-University, Institute for HRM and International Management

Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

Whereas preferences of consumers are a cornerstone of market economies, preferences of employees e.g. regarding the preferred amount of paid labor are mostly not. However, we have found that differences between aspired and actually worked weekly hours have a serious negative impact on all three dimensions of satisfaction considered: Life satisfaction, which in turn is strongly related to many dimensions of social life; satisfaction with work, which affects productivity directly and health satisfaction, which influences morbidity and mortality as shown by studies of the WHO.

This paper investigates the gap between employees preferences and realities by means of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) data. Although restricted to Germany, our basic findings are much in accordance with European-wide research projects, especially by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

The central analyzed question is: How many hours one would like to work, taking into account that earnings would change accordingly. A majority of German employees wanted a labor time reduction and only a small minority prefers an enlargement. By combining both effects, more than 2,4 million additional employees could have been statistically brought into work again. In addition, satisfaction would have been improved, consumerism somewhat mellowed. And, since mainly persons with children wanted to reduce their working hours, family life would have gained significantly.

Note: Downloadable document is in German.

Keywords: labour market, workings hours, unemployment, happiness, satisfaction

Suggested Citation

Grözinger, Gerd and Matiaske, Wenzel and Tobsch, Verena, Employee-friendly Labour Time: A Key Element to a Sustainable Pattern of Production and Consumption (Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik) (April 1, 2008). SOEP Paper No. 103, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1128189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1128189

Gerd Grözinger

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Wenzel Matiaske (Contact Author)

Helmut-Schmidt-University / University of the Armed Forces ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
D 22043 Hamburg
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsu-hh.de/ipa

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Verena Tobsch

Helmut-Schmidt-University, Institute for HRM and International Management ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22043
Germany

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