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A panel data analysis of the effects of wages, standard hours and unionization on paid overtime work in Britain

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This study examines the effects of the basic wage rate, standard working hours and unionization on paid overtime work in Britain by using individual level data from the New Earnings Survey over the period 1975–2001. For this purpose we estimate a panel data model. We show that to obtain consistent estimates it is important to allow for both the censoring of paid overtime hours at 0 and for correlations between the explanatory variables and unobserved individual-specific effects. The main empirical results are that a reduction in standard hours increases both the incidence of overtime and overtime hours, whereas an increase in the wage rate decreases the incidence of overtime but brings a small increase in overtime hours for those working overtime. For men the effects are stronger than for women. Union coverage is of minor empirical importance. The occupation and industry structure of employment has shifted from high to lower overtime jobs. Taken together, these economic variables can explain almost half of the changing incidence of overtime for men, and most of the change in overtime hours worked by women, but are less successful in explaining the changes in overtime hours worked by men or the incidence of overtime for women.

Keywords: Censoring; Overtime work; Panel data

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Tilburg University, the Netherlands 2: University of Oxford, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2005


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