Hours of Labor Supply

A More Flexible Approach

Authored by: Lonnie Golden

Handbook of Contemporary Behavioral Economics

Print publication date:  July  2006
Online publication date:  January  2015

Print ISBN: 9780765613028
eBook ISBN: 9781315703879
Adobe ISBN: 9781317469162


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Why do people work as much as they do? What causes their hours of work to climb, recede, or shift in timing? Initial insights may be gained from applying behavioral economic perspectives regarding the root sources of why people work for pay generally (e.g., Wolfe 1997; Kaufman 1999; Kelloway, Gallagher, and Barling 2004). The particular question in this chapter is, once an individual decides to devote time and energy to work in the paid labor force, what is the process that determines how many hours and which hours he or she actually works? In addition, in what sense can someone be working “too much”? Finally, what inhibits the spread of alternative hours-of-work options and flexibility that might better match workers’ preferences with those of employers’?

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