Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2009
Three economists – Frank Brechling, Sherwin Rosen and Ronald Ehrenberg – stimulated my original interest and approach to the study of working time. Their seminal 1960s/early 1970s contributions are highlighted in chapter 1. More recently, Stephen Trejo has provided researchers with fresh insights into the evaluation of working time policy initiatives in relation to overtime working. The direction of Trejo's work has made me realise that the important ideas on working time of H. Gregg Lewis should have also played a part in the early formulation of ideas. I can only plead ‘better late than never’ and hope that this present contribution makes some amends.
I will not attempt at this stage to persuade potential readers of the value of devoting a complete monograph to overtime working. Chapters 1 and 2 attempt to motivate the entire topic. The overview in chapter 1 presents in an accessible manner most of the core labour market issues that are explored in more depth at later stages. The international facts and figures in chapter 2 also cover many of the key areas of later concern. Chapters 3 and 4 deal with the theory of overtime working from the perspectives of labour supply, labour demand and models that attempt to combine the two sides of the market. Chapter 3 deals with the overtime decision in general while Chapter 4 concentrates specifically on the role and interpretation of the overtime premium.