The Shift Premium: Experimental Evidence from Belgium

Sam Desière UGent

“The Shift Premium: Experimental Evidence from Belgium”

Abstract : Shift work is a widespread but understudied aspect of industrial societies. We examine one specific aspect of shift work, the shift premium. To this end, we included a discrete choice experiment in an online survey set up by the Belgian socialist trade union targeted at blue-collar workers in sectors where shift work is common. Respondents chose between a standard 9 am – 5 pm job paying €15 per hour and a job with shift work in which the wage randomly varied between €12 and €20. Respondents demand - sizeable - shift premiums to prefer shift work over the daytime job, with higher premiums for more onerous working hours such as night shifts or rotating shifts. We observe substantial variation in the shift premium across respondents and provide evidence of labour market sorting.