To Your Happiness? Extra Hours of Labor Supply and Worker Well-Being

16 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2007

See all articles by Lonnie Golden

Lonnie Golden

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

Barbara Wiens-Tuers

Pennsylvania State University


Does extra work buy happiness and well-being? Unique survey data are analyzed to consider whether measures of self-reported subjective happiness, psychological health and economic satisfaction bear a net positive or negative relationship with working extra hours. Overtime work hours generally are associated with increased work stress, fatigue and workâ€"family interference. When overtime work is required, this appears to offset the otherwise greater happiness and mental healthiness produced by its additional income. Mandatory overtime is associated with additional workâ€"family interference and unhappiness for some workers, but also greater happiness for others. Policies most fruitful for improving individual economic and social welfare should focus on minimize the incidences where overtime is mandatory.

Keywords: Hours of Work, Overtime, Happiness, Mandatory Overtime, Work Stress

JEL Classification: J22, J23

Suggested Citation

Golden, Lonnie and Wiens-Tuers, Barbara, To Your Happiness? Extra Hours of Labor Supply and Worker Well-Being. Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 382-397, April 2006, Available at SSRN:

Lonnie Golden (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Abington College ( email )

1600 Woodland Rd.
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

Barbara Wiens-Tuers

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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