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Working Hours, Work Identity and Subjective Wellbeing

Mark Bryan () and Alita Nandi ()

No 2018002, Working Papers from The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics

Abstract: Following theories of social and economic identity, we use representative data containing measures of personal identity to investigate the interplay of work identity and hours of work in determining subjective wellbeing (job satisfaction, job-related anxiety and depression, and life satisfaction). We find that work identity helps to explain wellbeing in two ways. First, for a given level of hours, having a stronger work identity is associated with higher wellbeing on most measures. Second, a strong work identity reduces the adverse effects of long hours working on some measures, notably job satisfaction and anxiety (for women) and on life satisfaction (for men). The associations of working hours and wellbeing confirm that work is a source of disutility, but these relationships are generally strengthened when controlling for identity – implying that individuals sort into jobs with work hours that match their identities. The effects of both work hours and identity are substantial relative to benchmark effects of health on wellbeing. Our work helps to rationalise recent findings in the literature on the effects of work hours and work hour preferences on wellbeing.

Keywords: identity; wellbeing; working hours; job satisfaction; anxiety; depression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J22 J28 J29 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-hrm, nep-lma, nep-ltv and nep-neu
Date: 2018-02
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http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/articles/2018002 First version, March 2018 (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Working hours, work identity and subjective wellbeing (2015) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:shf:wpaper:2018002

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