Conspicuous work: Peer working time, labour supply, and happiness

Marion Collewet*, Andries de Grip, Jaap de Koning

*Corresponding author for this work

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While spillovers among peers in effort and productivity have been studied thoroughly, little is known about peer effects in working time. In this paper, we relate a unique measure of peer weekly working time from a dutch panel to men’s working time and to their happiness, in order to find out how peer working time enters men’s utility function. We find that men’s working time increases with that of their peers, and that men’s happiness is negatively related to peer working time. Our findings are consistent with a ‘conspicuous work’ model, in which working time is a source of status. The paper therefore provides evidence of a new form of status seeking that can drive peer effects in working time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Well-being
  • Social norms
  • Working hours
  • Status

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