What is the relationship between long working hours, over-employment, under-employment and the subjective well-being of workers. Longitudinal evidence from the UK.

2015-03-11T16:38:27Z (GMT) by David Angrave Andy Charlwood
Are long working hours, over-employment and under-employment associated with a reduction in subjective well-being (SWB)? If they are, is the association long or short-lasting? This paper answers these questions through within-person analysis of a nationally representative longitudinal survey from the United Kingdom. The results suggest that long working hours of work do not directly affect SWB, but in line with theories of person-environment fit, both over-employment and under-employment are associated with lower SWB. However, over-employment is more likely for those who work the longest hours. The duration of the SWB penalty associated with over-employment and under-employment is typically short, but SWB levels tend to remain depressed for those who remain over-employed for two years or more. Results suggest that state and organisational policies that reduce the incidence of long hours working may enhance aggregate well-being levels.