The case for policy intervention in social or economic problems should be based on incidence, severity and persistence of the problem. In this article, we show the usefulness of panel data in this regard by comparing preferred working hours to actual working hours, and examining the degree of mismatch between the two. Some individuals report working more hours than they would prefer, whereas others prefer working less. We examine the prevalence, severity and persistence of both types of problems. The case for policy intervention is weak as most working hour mismatch problems are resolved in a short time period.