Those ever longer working hours

You know, those ones that rise up as an incantation in Guardian not-think pieces?

Analysis of the most recent time use survey for Britain — which includes the unemployed and \”homemakers\” as well as working couples — shows that women work an average of five hours 55 minutes a day on employment and chores, compared with a man\’s five hours 37 minutes.

Yup, they\’re bollocks.

Because what everyone, but always, looks at is market working hours without adjusting for the decline in home working hours.

Now you might think this is trivial but this ignorance of reality leads to some entirely stupid prescriptions. For example, the nef (how did you know I was going to use them as an example of stupidity?), tell us we should all be doing fewer market working hours….and then rather fail to tell us that this will mean many more household production hours, leading to a decline in leisure time and an increase in total working hours.

Further, we can make a general presumption that market working hours are more productive than household. For in hte market we\’ve the division and specialisation of labour while in the household this is, at best, limited. So production will be, as this general presumption, less per hour of household labour than it will be for an hour of market labour.

So the nef\’s suggestion is that we should work fewer hours in order to work more hours to be poorer.

Put that way it sounds most attractive, doesn\’t it?

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