Working Less and Living Longer: Long-term Trends in Working Time and Time Budgets

Ausubel, J.H. & Grubler, A. ORCID: (1995). Working Less and Living Longer: Long-term Trends in Working Time and Time Budgets. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-96-004. Reprinted from Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 50(3):195-213

[thumbnail of RR-96-04.pdf]
RR-96-04.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (7MB) | Preview


Analyses of time series data beginning in the mid-nineteenth century in the industrialized nations, especially in the United Kingdom, show that on average people are working significantly less while living longer. Although the average career length has remained around 40 years, the total lifetime hours worked shrank for an average British worker from 124,000 hours in 1856 to 69,000 in 1981. The fraction of disposable lifetime hours spent working declined from 50% to 20%. The female share of career years doubled, however, to 30%. If the long-term trends continue at their historic rates, the working week might average 27 hours by the year 2050. The secular trend away from the formalized work contract to other socially obligatory activities and free time implies numerous challenges for human societies.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:05
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item