Duration and optimal number of shifts in the labour market

U. Spiegel, L. D. Gonen, M. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significant conflicts impacting production costs and efficient use of labour are associated with shift work. We examine the relationship between the number of shifts and their duration in order to maximize efficient use of labour. We focus on the debate between two basic elements: (1) a greater number of shifts of shorter duration which require more idle time between shifts, and may lead to increased expenses and inefficient use of resources; and (2) shifts of shorter duration that generate higher productivity. We develop a formula for achieving a balance between the two elements and determining the optimal number of shifts and their duration. We present several applications that can be derived from our formula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-432
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • idle time
  • labour efficiency
  • shifts
  • work flexibility

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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