Work pressure in Europe 1996 – 2001: Trends and determinants

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Series Details Vol.43, No.3, September 2005, p351-375
Publication Date September 2005
ISSN 0007-1080
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Diverse theories have predicted a trend towards growing work pressure in advanced capitalist societies, while pointing to quite distinct causal factors. This paper seeks to assess these arguments using data from two surveys of employees in European Union member-states carried out in 1996 and in 2001. It finds there is no evidence of a trend towards higher work pressure over this period. There is, however, support for some of the main arguments about the types of factors that affect work pressure: for instance, skill, job control, new technology and current job security are clearly important. But the trends in job control and job security have not been those predicted, while changes in another major determinant the length of working hours have tended to reduce work pressure. There are substantial and relatively stable differences in work pressure between countries, but to a considerable extent, these reflect compositional differences with respect to the main determinants of work pressure.

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