For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Work centrality and post-award work behavior of lottery winners"

by Arvey, Richard D; Harpaz, Itzhak; Liao, Hui (2004)


Individuals who had won the lottery responded to a survey concerning whether they had continued to work after winning. They were also asked to indicate how important work was in their life using items and scales commonly used to measure work centrality. The authors predicted that whether lottery winners would continue to work would be related to their level of work centrality as well as to the amount of their winnings. Individuals who won large amounts in the lottery would be less likely to quit work if they had relatively greater degrees of work centrality. After controlling for a number of variables (i.e., age, gender, education, occupation, and job satisfaction), results indicated that work centrality and the amount won were significantly related to whether individuals continued to work and, as predicted, the interaction between the two was also significantly related to work continuance.

Key Passage

Our findings indicated that the average amount won among those who chose to continue working was relatively high ($2.59 million), suggesting a relatively high monetary threshold for discontinuing work, and even among these high winners, a sizable number still continued working. For instance, a 64-year-old bus driver who won $20 million dollars stated (in the open-ended section of the questionnaire) that the “lottery is just a bonus that came my way, it has not or will not affect my work habits and goals in life.” (p. 415-6) ()


No Keywords


Harpaz, Psychological Centrality of Work, Meaningful Work

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