Distinctions between Overemployment, Overwork, Workaholism and Heavy Work Investment

Heavy Work Investment: Its Nature, Sources, Outcomes, and Future Directions (Applied Psychology Series), Itzhak Harpaz and Raphael Snir, eds., 2014

30 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2014

See all articles by Lonnie Golden

Lonnie Golden

Pennsylvania State University - Abington College; Economic Policy Institute; Project for Middle Class Renewal

Date Written: June 1, 2014

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter will be to consider why at least some people are driven to work hours beyond either their initially preferred extent of commitment toward work or beyond their own capacity that is sustainable in terms of physical or mental health or well-being. It aims to build a comprehensive model of work hours determination that employs the recent behavioral economics’ emphases on relative incomes, aspirations, preference adaptation and happiness. It considers that work hours may be both a forward-looking and a backward-looking form of investment, and the role of such incentives, explicit and implicit, in determining a worker’s preferred number of hours. It then makes the subtle but importance distinctions between overwork, overemployment and workaholic, and between the intrinsic, extrinsic and institutional motivations for working longer hours, even to the point of becoming overworked or addicted to work. will explore potential returns to investment in “nonwork” or leisure time, by distinguishing five types of time use, at least two of which have investment-type properties that working hours have. These will be referred to as “productive leisure” and “recuperative leisure.” It provides recent estimates of the incidence of overwork and overemployment. It will contrast the demographic and work characteristics of workers who express apparent satisfaction with their number of work hours and those who maintain a preference for reduced hours of work even if accompanied by reduce earnings. The former includes gender and age, for example, and the latter includes whether they are paid hourly or salary, their current duration of hours, and occupation type.

Keywords: Overemployment; Overwork; Labor Supply; Hours of Work

JEL Classification: J22, J23

Suggested Citation

Golden, Lonnie, Distinctions between Overemployment, Overwork, Workaholism and Heavy Work Investment (June 1, 2014). Heavy Work Investment: Its Nature, Sources, Outcomes, and Future Directions (Applied Psychology Series), Itzhak Harpaz and Raphael Snir, eds., 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2492381

Lonnie Golden (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Abington College ( email )

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Abington, PA 19001
United States
215-881-7596 (Phone)
215-881-7333 (Fax)

Economic Policy Institute ( email )

1660 L Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Project for Middle Class Renewal ( email )

1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

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