Abstract

Data from the 1997 International Social Survey Programme show that a majority of U.S. employees prefer to work a different number of hours than they actually work. Employees are divided in their preferences: many want to spend less time at work, but there are also many who want to increase their hours. These preferences vary with such characteristics as gender, age, family structure, income, opportunities for advancement, and part-time status. One surprising result is that family structures associated with work-family conflict are not associated with a desire for fewer hours. Members of dual-earner couples without children and male breadwinners without children are most likely to desire fewer hours. This analysis suggests that work-family conflict is more likely to produce a desire for fewer hours when employees are well off economically.

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