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The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper

Daniel Hamermesh and Joel Slemrod

No 1680, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: A large literature examines the addictive properties of such behaviors as smoking, drinking alcohol and eating. We argue that for some people addictive behavior may apply to a much more central aspect of economic life: working. Workaholism is subject to the same concerns about the individual as other addictions, is more likely to be a problem of higher-income individuals, and can, under conditions of jointness in the workplace or the household, generate negative spillovers onto individuals around the workaholic. Using the Retirement History Survey and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we find evidence that is consistent with the idea that high-income, highly educated people suffer from workaholism with regard to retiring, in that they are more likely to postpone earlier plans for retirement. The theory and evidence suggest that optimal policy involves a more progressive tax system than in the absence of workaholism.

Keywords: tax policy; retirement; labor supply; addiction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H21 J26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2005-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe, nep-lab, nep-ltv and nep-pbe
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6)

Published - published in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Contributions to Economic Analysis and Policy, 2008, 8 (1), Article 3

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Journal Article: The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper (2005) Downloads
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