Futuribles Journal n° 285

Économie, emploi - Entreprises, travail - Société, modes de vie

L'économie politique du temps


Basing his discussion on the national surveys of time-use in a dozen countries, Jonathan Gershuny argues that the changes in how time is spent every day reveal a general similarity among countries and between the sexes, although women still do more housework than men. He also shows that there has been a slight increase in the amount of time spent on paid work (and rising with level of education) and a slight fall in time spent on domestic chores.
Despite these trends, Gershuny stresses that there are potentially substantial differences from country to country, especially between those with long working hours, poor public services and where therefore there are big gender differences, and those with shorter working hours, better public services and where therefore gender differences are smaller.
From this he outlines a political economy of time, and argues that the time spent on paid work has an impact on how and which services are used. He ends by showing that "social democratic states tend towards high-value leisure service consumption, whereas liberal market states tend towards the low value pattern".

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