Working Time Preferences, Hours Mismatch and Well-Being of Couples: Are There Spillovers?

SOEPpapers 471, 39 S.

Christoph Wunder, Guido Heineck


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We analyze how well-being is related to working time preferences and hours mismatch. Selfreported measures of life satisfaction are used as an empirical approximation of true wellbeing. Our results indicate that well-being is generally lower among workers with working time mismatch. Particularly underemployment is detrimental for well-being. We further provide first evidence on spillovers from the partner's working time mismatch. However, the spillover becomes insignificant once we control for the partner's well-being. This suggests that well-being is contagious, and the spillover is due to interdependent utilities. Females experience the highest well-being when their partner is working full-time hours. Male wellbeing is unaffected over a wide interval of the partner's working hours.

JEL-Classification: I31;J21;J22
Keywords: Subjective well-being, life satisfaction, working time preferences, working time mismatch, spillovers, utility interdependence
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