Long Work Hours and Job Satisfaction: Do Overworkers Get Trapped in Bad Jobs?

Mark Fabian, Robert Breunig

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Objective: Motivated by a literature suggesting that people are getting "trapped" working long hours in jobs that they dislike, we investigate the relationship between overwork, job satisfaction, and job change. Methods: We use panel data to follow overworkers who are dissatisfied with both their hours and their jobs overall, and fixed effects modelling to analyze the determinants of overwork. Results: We find that while overworkers might be dissatisfied with their hours they are otherwise pleased with their jobs. The few overworkers who get trapped in unsatisfying jobs are typically low educated and work in jobs characterized by rigid hour requirements. Such workers may require experience to command high wages, which may increase their opportunity cost of job change and limit their outside options and job mobility. Conclusion: We conclude that "trapped", dissatisfied over-workers are a rare phenomenon peculiar to a find industries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1932-1956
    JournalSocial Science Quarterly
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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