Discretionary Time: A New Measure of Freedom

Cambridge University Press (2008)
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Abstract

A healthy work-life balance has become increasingly important to people trying to cope with the pressures of contemporary society. This trend highlights the fallacy of assessing well-being in terms of finance alone; how much time we have matters just as much as how much money. The authors of this book have developed a novel way to measure 'discretionary time': time which is free to spend as one pleases. Exploring data from the US, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden and Finland, they show that temporal autonomy varies substantially across different countries and under different living conditions. By calibrating how much control people have over their time, and how much they could have under alternative welfare, gender or household arrangements, this book offers a new perspective for comparative cross-national enquiries into the temporal aspects of human welfare.

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