New publication by PhD candidate Anna S. Burger: Extreme work hours in Western Europe and North America: diverging trends since the 1970s

April 23, 2018

New research article by Anna S. Burger, PhD candidate at CEU’s Doctoral School of Political science, Public Policy and International Relations, published in Socio-Economic Review, an international peer-reviewed journal with an impact factor of 2.661.


This article presents a political economy analysis of extreme work hours in 18 advanced Western economies since the 1970s. Empirically, it shows that the culture of long work hours has gained significance not only in the Anglo-Saxon but also in most Continental European welfare states. Theoretically, it provides an institutionalist argument against the neoclassical, or supply-side, point of view on the drivers of long work hours in post-industrial labour markets. It demonstrates that the choice to work long hours is not entirely, or even mainly, left to the preference of the individual. Instead, individual choices are constrained by labour market policies, collective bargaining institutions and new labour market structures, the pattern and trends of which do not necessarily follow the contours of the regime typology. Data on extreme work hours was compiled from the Luxembourg Income Study and the Multinational Time Use Study micro-data collections.