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Constraints on the Desired Hours of Work of British Men

Mark B. Stewart and Joanna K. Swaffield
The Economic Journal
Vol. 107, No. 441 (Mar., 1997), pp. 520-535
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Economic Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2957960
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Constraints on the Desired Hours of Work of British Men
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Abstract

This paper investigates constraints on desired hours of work using information on hours preferences from the British Household Panel Survey for 1991. Over a third of male manual workers would prefer to work fewer hours at the prevailing wage than they do and we estimate that on average desired hours per week are 4.3 lower than actual hours. We hypothesise that job insecurity and scarcity of alternative job opportunities enable employers to set hours constraints above employee preferences and find that the minimum hours constraints set by firms are an increasing function of the unemployment rate an individual faces.

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