Staying Late: Comparing Work Hours in Public and Nonprofit Sectors


Economic theories suggest that work behavior of public and nonprofit employees should resemble one another closely, owing to the lack of profit incentives and owner oversight of work. However, empirical descriptions of public and nonprofit workers imply that these work- forces differ in many ways. One easily conceptualized but nonetheless crucial test of possible differences is the level of work activity in the respective organizational settings. This research compares work hours reported in public and nonprofit organizations by asking, “Do managers working in, respectively, public and nonprofit organizations differ in their number of work hours and what are the determinants of managers’ work hours?” The study is based on ques- tionnaire data from the National Administrative Studies Project–III. Results indicate that managers in the nonprofit sector work longer hours compared to state managers and that work hours are mitigated by external organizational ties, perceptions, and work histories.

Full Paper

Feeney, Mary K., and Barry Bozeman. "Staying late: Comparing work hours in public and nonprofit sectors." The American Review of Public Administration (2008).