The OECD has released research on trends in leisure time.
Skipping through it it shows what we pretty much all know already (at least, those who have been paying attention know this already). Working hours are falling and have been over time. Leisure hours are rising. In the UK at least there\’s no great gender difference between working hours as properly defined (that is, adding home production to market production it\’s about 10 minutes a day difference in leisure).
So, this "ever longer working hours" bollocks is just that, bollocks.
However, there are a few cute little points made:
Commuting from work is more enjoyable than commuting to work. Odd that, ain\’t it?
A remaining limitation in considering gender differences in leisure time arises from the possible gendered nature of shopping as a leisure activity. In the above analysis, all shopping is allocated to unpaid work. It thus reduces leisure, all other things being equal. It is also known from time-use surveys that women shop more than men. For example, in the United States men shop for 43 minutes per day, while women shop for 59 minutes per day. The respective figures for Germany are 49 minutes for men and 66 minutes for women, for Italy 33 minutes for men and 53 minutes for women and for the Netherlands 36 minutes for men and 53 minutes for women (Burda et al., 2007, Table 1.1).4 It is possible that some of this shopping time has a leisure component and this shopping-as-leisure is generally larger for women.
The "it is possible" to avoid being shouted at by the harridans…..
This is shocking of course, completely shocking:
In addition, higher numbers of children, and especially pre-school children, reduce leisure time (Gronau, 1976, Table 1).
One that isn\’t surprising:
Broad leisure is positively correlated with per capita NNI
That is, as people (or societies) become richer they decide to take some of that extra wealth as leisure rather than more goods and services.
One more little amusement. Canada has a mandatory 10 days (ie, two weeks) paid annual leave plus 8 paid days holiday (things like Canada Day I assume). The US has zero of either, no mandatory holiday pay and no paid holidays. However, the average hours of broad leisure in the US is marginally above that in Canada. So much for it being only the law that makes sure the proletariat get the time to dance around the Maypole eh?