David N.F. Bell
Division of Economics
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Institutional Affiliation: University of Stirling
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2018||Underemployment in the US and Europe|
with David G. Blanchflower: w24927
Large numbers of part-time workers around the world, both those who choose to be part-time and those who are there involuntarily and would prefer a full-time job report they want more hours. Full-timers who say they want to change their hours mostly say they want to reduce them. When recession hit in most countries the number of hours of those who said they wanted more hours, rose sharply and there was a fall in the number of hours that full-timers wanted their hours reduced by. Even though the unemployment rate has returned to its pre-recession levels in many advanced countries, underemployment in most has not.
We produce estimates for a new, and better, underemployment rate for twenty-five European countries. In most underemployment remains elevated. We provide evidence for the UK a...
|July 2018||The Well-being of the Overemployed and the Underemployed and the Rise in Depression in the UK|
with David G. Blanchflower: w24840
In this paper we build on our earlier work on underemployment using data from the UK. In particular, we explore their well-being based on hours preferences rather than on involuntary part-time work used in the prior literature. We make use of five main measures of well-being: happiness; life satisfaction; whether life is worthwhile; anxiety and depression. The underemployed have higher levels of well-being than the unemployed and disabled but lower levels than any other group of workers, full or part-time. The more that actual hours differ from preferred hours the lower is a worker's well-being. This is true for those who say they want more hours (the underemployed) and those who say they want less (the over employed).
We find strong evidence of a rise in depression and anxiety (neg...
Published: David N.F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2019. "The well-being of the overemployed and the underemployed and the rise in depression in the UK," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, vol 161, pages 180-196. citation courtesy of
|April 2018||The Lack of Wage Growth and the Falling NAIRU|
with David G. Blanchflower: w24502
There remains a puzzle around the world over why wage growth is so benign given the unemployment rate has returned to pre-recession levels. It is our contention that a considerable part of the explanation is the rise in underemployment which rose in the Great Recession but has not returned to pre-recession levels even though the unemployment rate has. Involuntary part-time employment rose in every advanced country and remains elevated in many in 2018.
In the UK we construct the Bell/Blanchflower underemployment index based on reports of whether workers, including full-timers and those who want to be part-time, who say they want to increase or decrease their hours at the going wage rate. If they want to change their hours they report by how many. Prior to 2008 our underemployment rate ...
Published: David N.F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2018. "The Lack of Wage Growth and the Falling NAIRU," National Institute Economic Review, vol 245(1), pages R40-R55. citation courtesy of