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 proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods and Applications in Economic Geography
EditorsC. Karlsson, M. Andersson, T. Norman
PublisherEE: Edward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780857932662
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesHandbooks of Research Methods and Applications series


  • labour market
  • gender differences
  • netherlands
  • employment rates
  • workable hours
  • working-age population


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