New Labour and work-time regulation: a Marxian analysis of the UK economy

Philp, B., Slater, G. and Wheatley, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-6753-2867, 2015. New Labour and work-time regulation: a Marxian analysis of the UK economy. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 39 (3), pp. 711-732. ISSN 1464-3545

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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of work-time regulation, introduced by the UK's New Labour governments (1997 to 2010). In doing so, we return to Marx's hypotheses regarding the length of the working day. These include the arguments
that class conflict over the length of the working day is inherently distributional in a surplus-value sense and that workers often display a preference for reduced hours even with a proportionate reduction in pay. Our quantitative Marxist methodology provides a way of assessing the pattern of surplus-value before and during the period of office of the New Labour governments and the distributional effects of regulation. The impact of such regulations on workers' preferences are examined through an investigation of British Household Panel Survey data. Although many have been sceptical concerning the record of the last Labour
governments, policies such as the Working Time Regulations (1998) and the Work-Life Balance Campaign (2000) are found to have been noteworthy innovations in the labour market. This is all the more important given recent moves by the successor government to weaken work-time regulation. Our results suggest the impact of these policy initiatives was broadly favourable, though the effect on men and women was different.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Cambridge Journal of Economics
Creators: Philp, B., Slater, G. and Wheatley, D.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: May 2015
Volume: 39
Number: 3
ISSN: 1464-3545
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1093/cje/beu057DOI
Rights: © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 11:04
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:48
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22461

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