Hours of Individual Labor Supply Models: Adding Breadth

37 Pages Posted: 24 May 2007 Last revised: 3 Jan 2008

See all articles by Lonnie Golden

Lonnie Golden

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

Morris Altman

University of Newcastle

Date Written: 2007


What causes individuals' hours of work to climb, recede, or shift in timing? The main purpose of this article is to broaden the labor supply function to include determinants other than the conventional list of wage rate, nonwage income and preferences. Then it peers further into the black box of preferences by specifying the behavioral and social forces that both influence preference formation and lead preferences to adapt over time. Initial insights are gleaned from applying behavioral economic perspectives regarding the root sources of the process that determines how many hours and which hours someone is working or working too much? The purpose is to expand the conventional economic model of hours of labor by incorporating the various behavioral and social sources of constraints, preferences, and preference adaptation. Specifically, a model of labor hours should entail how preferences may be adaptable under social influences and how inflexibility in the workplace may often prevent individuals from getting their desired timing of work and/or a reduced number of hours. The extent of such inflexibilities puts at risk the long-term sustainability of labor as a productive resource.

Keywords: hours of work, labor supply, overwork

JEL Classification: J22, J23

Suggested Citation

Golden, Lonnie and Altman, Morris, Hours of Individual Labor Supply Models: Adding Breadth (2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=988253 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.988253

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

Morris Altman

University of Newcastle ( email )

University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308

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