Gender-specific dynamics in hours worked: Exploring the potential for increasing hours worked in an ageing society

Inge Noback, Lourens Broersma, Jouke van Dijk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Dutch labour market differs from that of other countries due to a unique combination of high employment rates and a low average number of hours worked. Dutch employment rates are among the highest in the world, at 77 per cent in 2011. At the same time, the average number of hours worked annually per employed person is one of the lowest, at 1377 hours in 2011. The OECD average for these variables in 2011 was 65 per cent and 1750 hours, respectively (OECD, 2012). Like many other countries, the Netherlands faces a decline in the working-age population as a result of ageing and declining birth rates. The implications of these phenomena pose a serious threat to the current welfare level, but given the unique situation of the Dutch labour market, increasing the total number of hours worked seems to be an obvious solution to maintaining the level of per capita wealth. However, low working hours might be difficult to change, due to established preferences of employees. The aim of this study is to explore the possibilities for increasing the number of hours worked by workers currently active in the labour market. The low average number of hours worked in the Netherlands is the result of a high proportion of part-time employment, along with an autonomous downward trend in the total number of hours worked (Statistics Netherlands, 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods and Applications in Economic Geography
EditorsCharlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson, Therese Norman
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-85793-267-9
ISBN (Print)978-0-85793-266-2
Publication statusPublished - 27-Mar-2015

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
PublisherEdward Elgar


  • economics and finance
  • regional economics
  • geography
  • economic geography
  • research methods in geography
  • research methods
  • urban and regional studies

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