Toward an efficiency week – correlation between shorter workweek and higher productivity
If workers work shorter hours, will they work harder? This author thinks a shorter workweek will lead to higher productivity.
Before the emergence and widespread acceptance of the efficiency-wage hypothesis, it was believed that increased productivity led to dividends being paid to workers in two basic forms: higher real wages or reduced working hours. The efficiency-wage theory, however, reversed the arrow of causation between the two variables by purporting sound reasons why higher wages may be a cause of higher productivity as well as a result. The premise of this article is that productivity advances are also correlated with the other significant determinant of labor productivity – work duration. Thus, just as an efficiently high wage may lower per-unit labor costs, so might judiciously determined workweeks.
Most workweek reductions – such as France’s recent decision to implement a thirty-five-hour workweek by the year 2000 – are proffered with an eye toward ameliorating unemployment. Although stabilizing employment is a worthy and valid objective of reduced workweeks, the efficiency-week hypothesis predicts far greater benefits. The theory asserts that an optimum number of hours worked per week will increase the immediate productivity of the labor force as well as the productivity of future generations. Thus, the efficiency-week hypothesis does more than provide unemployment relief. It bolsters the productivity of current workers, as well as their children’s productivity, by affording the family the time to “live wisely and agreeably well” (Keynes, 1978).
In 1914, Henry Ford made an announcement that sent shock waves through both the economics profession and the business community: The minimum wage in his industries would be $5.00 for an eight-hour day. At the time, $2.50 for a ten-hour day was considered generous compensation. Since Ford’s epiphany, the expression “$5 day” has become an economic standard and a foundation for the ascendancy of efficiency-wage theories. However, the economics profession has overlooked a second virtue in Ford’s policy – the reduction of work time.
The virtues of shorter work times are not unlike those of higher wages, but they are more numerous. The macroeconomic benefits include the fact that workers will have more time to consume a greater volume of goods and to develop sophisticated tastes for more expensive goods. As Ford predicted in 1926, “the short week is bound to come because without it the country will not be able to absorb its production and stay prosperous” (Crowther, 1926). The efficiency-week hypothesis is more than a short-term boost for aggregate demand. The increased social productivity that results from reduced work times can create long-term improvements in the standard of living. In the short term, workers become more productive, and in the long run, future generations benefit from the human-capital investments made by their nonharried parents.
Efficiency-Wage Theories as a Springboard to the Efficiency-“Week” Hypothesis
In The Wealth of Nations the protean Adam Smith commented on the fact that higher wages would lead to increased industry among the working class. However, Smith admonished that the sedulous work habits of higher-paid workers would result in a spate of infirmities. At the end of the day; a debilitated worker would have lower levels of output, and per-unit labor costs would be correspondingly higher. Since Adam Smith published his magnum opus, economists have come to realize that efficiently high wage rates can increase productivity without the attendant injuries to the workforce. Thus, per-unit labor costs – the sine qua non of capitalists – can often be lowered by paying an efficiently determined wage.
Before Ford’s “$5-day lesson,” big business adamantly opposed higher wages. An increase in the factor cost of labor, it was argued, would prescribe a curtailment of production. The reduction in output would maim the very workers it intended to benefit. What these myopic opponents of higher wages were not grasping was the aggregate demand effects and productivity gains that abound from well-paid workers.
In its simplest form the efficiency-wage hypothesis states that labor productivity depends on the real wage paid by the firm. As George Akerloff and Janet Yellen (1984) pointed out, “If wage cuts harm productivity, then cutting wages may end up raising labor costs.” The productivity gains attributable to the employee primarily result from greater incentives to work coupled with a diminished incentive to shirk. However, employers can also raise the productivity by using higher wages to reduce turnover, improve morale, decrease monitoring costs, and attract superior job applicants (Akerloff and Yellen, 1984; Stoft, 1982).
The link between labor productivity and the real wage paid by firms is perhaps most apparent in the less developed countries. In this setting, it is obvious how higher wages can abate such productivity drags as malnutrition and illness. The understanding is rather intuitive when extended to the developed countries, as we can imagine such productivity enhancements as training, wellness investments, and even psychiatric help being financed out of higher wages. However, most models pertaining to industrialized economies emphasize the productivity gains reaped from a reduction in shirking and labor turnover.
Since piece rates are impracticable in most jobs, monitoring of employees becomes an expensive endeavor This cost can be reduced if the incentive to shirk can be attenuated. The penalty for shirking is the possibility of being sacked upon discovery of the impropriety. This has been called the “cheat-threat theory” by Steven Stoft (1982) because, if there is a cost to being fired on account of cheating, the threat of being sacked creates an incentive not to shirk. If a firm were to hire a worker for the going wage rate or less, it would be in the interest of that worker to shirk because similar employment could be easily obtained. Firms that realize this will want to offer wages that are competitive with those in their particular industry.
Firms may also offer wages in excess of the market-clearing rate in an effort to reduce labor turnover For reasons similar to those of the reduced-shirking argument, workers will be more reluctant to quit the higher the relative wage paid by the current employer and the higher the aggregate unemployment rate. Since less turnover translates into lower training costs for the firm, paying a higher relative wage could be a windfall for firms with substantial training costs.
Adverse selection provides further credence to the relation between productivity and wages. If each worker’s ability is positively correlated with a minimum compensation level, firms with higher wages will attract more qualified job candidates. In such a scenario, each firm offers an efficiency wage and optimally turns away applicants offering to work for less than that wage. The willingness to work for less places an upper limit on ability and fuels the firm’s suspicion that the applicant is a lemon.
The Efficiency-“Week” Hypothesis
The efficiency-week hypothesis espouses productivity gains for reasons akin to those argued by the efficiency-wage theories. First, just as a higher wage may afford a worker the finance to invest in human “capital” or “physical maintenance” (i.e., nutrition, health, and general or specific training), reduced work hours afford that worker the time to make that investment. Surely, workers will require the time, as well as the funds, to better nourish, clothe, educate, and rejuvenate themselves. Second, the cheat-threat argument that shirking will be less prevalent in high-paid positions also holds true for jobs offering compassionate hours. The risk of losing steady, yet not overly rigorous, employment could be even more detrimental to a family than losing high-paid sporadic work. Finally; the reduction of monitoring costs may hold even greater sway under the efficiency-week hypothesis than in the high-wage theories.
In addition to the benevolent psychological and behavioral effects that accrue from reduced workweeks (i.e., increased morale and decreased employee turnover), perhaps the most intuitive arguments for the proposition are physiological. In extreme cases, longer work hours blatantly come to bear on productivity levels, but even when work durations are within moderate ranges, substantial productivity effects are discernible. Long work durations are typically accommodated by adjustments of pace or work intensity. Most workers can intentionally and surreptitiously ration their productivity by slowing their movements or pausing between movements. Moreover, since long work durations often lead to greater infirmities and absenteeism, the interdependence of workers operating in complex milieus may be interrupted – hindering the output of all employees.
Scientific research on the physiology of labor initially took place in the United Kingdom during World War I. Under the auspices of the Industrial Fatigue Board, researchers investigated why the British munitions industry failed to respond to an increased demand for output despite unrestricted budgets that allowed for ample overtime compensation. Through meticulous observations of munitions factories, H.M. Vernon (1917) was able to show that increases in output were ephemeral. Over longer periods, the level of output tended toward an equilibrium. As Michael White (1987) states, “This equilibrium is considerably influenced by the hours of work, by the physical effort demanded in the work, and also the regularity of the work.” In general, a longer work duration tended to manifest itself in lower long-run equilibrium levels of output. Copious other field and laboratory studies have verified such claims. For instance, sustainable long-term muscular effort has been shown to have a log-linear relationship to the duration of the work effort (Birk, Bonjer, and van der Sluys, 1961; Bonjer, 1968). Table 1 empirically demonstrates how the ill effects of fatigue have manifested themselves through daily and weekly productivity contractions.
Productivity Decreases in the 1920s Cotton Industry (percent change
using 10 A.M. Tuesday morning as a base)
Workday A.M. (8:15) P.M. (10:15)
Monday 1.6 5.8
Tuesday 0.9 6.4
Wednesday 1.8 6.4
Thursday 2.2 6.7
Friday 2.6 7.5
Finally, and perhaps most important, the efficiency-week hypothesis improves upon the efficiency-wage argument of decreased monitoring costs. As shown by numerous case studies (see interviews and experiments conducted by Benjamin Hunnicutt , W.H.L. Leverhulme , the Ministry of Munitions , and Amy Saltzman ), shorter workweeks may cause monitoring costs to fall even more than the efficiency-wage theories predict. The cost of guarding against shirking may be diminished under a reduced workweek merely because fewer breaks are required. However, since manufacturing companies will most likely experience fewer injuries, accidents, and production mistakes because workers are well rested and alert, it would follow that the actions and output of the workers would require less supervision and inspection, respectively.
Thus the efficiency-week theory has a beneficial effect on production that is not shown in the efficiency-wage theories, which chiefly reduce the costs of monitoring worker behavior. The behavior of a high-wage, overworked assembly-line workers may require less oversight than their low-wage counterpart, but they still need to be closely monitored for quality. Well-rested, alert workers would require less monitoring. Thus if workers are given the opportunity to opt for fewer working hours in lieu of wage increases, it may serve to obviate both shirking and fatigue, thereby improving the overall quality of their output.
Efficiency-wage advocates often emphasize the social costs related to capitalists opting for increased monitoring rather than higher wages. Samuel Bowles, David M. Gordon, and Thomas E. Weisskopf (1990) claim that “the profit-maximizing firm uses too many monitoring resources and not enough wage incentives.” Since monitoring requires resources that could otherwise be used in a more productive fashion, it represents an external cost to society. If higher wages produce levels of effort commensurate to that under monitoring, then efficiency wages are a socially superior alternative to monitoring. The argument may hold even more sway under an efficiency-week arrangement. Even fewer resources are lost to monitoring with shorter workweeks because not only are workers less apt to shirk but their production mistakes are substantially curtailed (Saltzman, 1997; Hunnicutt, 1996; Crowther, 1926). Rather than paying individuals to tyrannize over putatively unruly workers, society could employ efficiency wages and weeks to foster socially superior results. Both the efficiency-week and efficiency-wage alternatives to monitoring are socially optimal because resources are devoted to the production process rather than to the subjugation of the workforce.
Initial Evidence of the Efficiency Week
Britain and France have experimented the most with efficient-work durations. The idea for the six-hour day, which later found a following in America, was originated by Lord William Hesketh Leverhulme, the British soap baron. He wrote in his book The Six-Hour Day and Other Industrial Questions (1919) that “working shorter hours with lessened fatigue does not reduce output, but generally, and with very few exceptions, tends to increase output.” This claim was corroborated by Bienefeld (1972) when he observed that major reductions of hours in British economic history preceded, rather than followed, peaks of productivity growth. Although certain of a correlation between work time and productivity, Bienefeld was cautious about asserting any causality between the two variables.
A variety of other British studies have likewise shown the productivity-enhancing effects of shorter workweeks and have further suggested a causality from the latter to the former. During World War I the Industrial Fatigue Board demonstrated that work reductions were often followed by considerable productivity increases (Vernon, 1917). In addition, the Industrial Fatigue Board found that the productivity effects of overwork were manifest throughout the workweek. After a slothful Monday start, worker productivity in the cotton-weaving industry rebounded on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but then showed a drastic decline in the latter part of the week (Medical Research Council, 1923). Great Britain’s Industrial Fatigue Board observed productivity decreases in cotton-weaving establishments in the 1920s, as shown in Table 1.
If the precipitous decline in productivity later in the week is ubiquitous, there may be some validity to the modern-day witticism that an automotive lemon is a “Friday car.”
More recently; a 1981 analysis of work reductions in the British engineering and printing industries provides additional evidence of productivity gains. The government-sponsored study tracked the effects of a work reduction in 140 establishments and concluded that productivity rates rose while unit wage costs fell (White and Ghobadian, 1984). Even when work reductions are conducted below the conventional forty-hour workweek level, productivity benefits still abound. When a British pharmaceutical factory reduced its hours from 38.75 to 36.25 per week, overtime was actually reduced and productivity increased to the tune of 20 percent (White, 1981).
The French economy, likewise, has a fair share of evidence relating shorter weeks to windfall productivity gains. During the early 1980s legislation in France led to a thirty-nine-hour statutory workweek, which represented a reduction of approximately one hour for the average worker. A survey of firms’ reactions to the reduction found many types of productivity-enhancing responses to the reduction, particularly in the larger establishments. In 1983, the year the legislation took effect, hourly productivity in France rose about 6 percent. This is substantial considering that the year before productivity increased only 2 percent and has not breached the 4 percent mark since that time. Michael White (1987) argues that at least 90 percent of the impact of the shorter-workweek legislation was absorbed by productivity improvements as opposed to the hiring of new recruits. French politicians and labor leaders are hopeful that the effects of the latest legislated reduction (the thirty-five-hour week by 2000) is as salutary as the 1983 reduction.
American evidence of the efficiency-week effect may be more anecdotal than Europe’s but it, nonetheless, does exist. On November 24, 1930, William Keith Kellogg implemented a six-hour day in his colossal cereal factory as a stratagem to alleviate unemployment in Battle Creek, Michigan. The progressive capitalist publicly proclaimed to Mayor William Perry that “if we put in four six-hour shifts . . . instead of three eight-hour shifts, this will give work and paychecks to the heads of three hundred more families in Battle Creek” (Hunnicutt, 1996). Unexpectedly, Kellogg’s six-hour day became much more than a cure for unemployment. The practice led to a more rewarding, restful, and fulfilling personal life for the Kellogg workers that spilled over into their work habits. When the productivity bonanza associated with the six-hour day became apparent to the company; the shortened workday grew into a way of life at Kellogg – persisting until 1985.
In his book Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day, Benjamin Hunnicutt quotes an internal memo extolling the virtues of the company’s reduced work durations. After five years of six-hour work days, the company brass concluded that the “burden (or overhead) unit cost was reduced 25% . . . labor unit costs reduced 10% . . . accidents reduced 41% . . . the severity of accidents (days lost per incident) improved 51% . . . [and] 39% more people were working at Kellogg’s than in 1929.” W.K. Kellogg vehemently maintained that the six-hour day “isn’t just a theory with us . . . we have proved it with over five years experience.” Kellogg had found that with shorter work durations, “the efficiency and morale of our employees is so increased, the accident and insurance rates are so improved, and the unit cost of production is so lowered that we can afford to pay as much for six hours [of work] as we formerly paid for eight.” Such sanguine statements were echoed by yet another welfare capitalist, Henry Ford. In a 1926 interview Ford claimed, “Now we know from our experience in changing from six to five days and back again that we can get at least as great production in five days as we can in six, and we shall probably get greater, for the pressure will bring better methods” (Crowther, 1926).
More recently; fight labor markets in America have spawned a contemporary breed of workweek mavericks. With unemployment levels far below the 10 to 12 percent mark that European nations are experiencing, American firms have been menaced by a starkly different problem: namely; how to fill vacancies and to retain workers emboldened by a newly strengthened bargaining power. Thus, in America the campaign for shorter hours is being driven by personal and family needs rather than macroeconomic exigencies.
Many workers have found little relief in workplace programs once considered highly progressive, such as child care and flextime. Now a growing number of workers simply want to devote less time to work and more time to family, community; and fun. According to a poll conducted by KRC Research, 49 percent of Americans say society puts too much emphasis on work and not enough on leisure (U.S. News, 1997). That is a monumental shift in thinking from just eleven years ago, when the Opinion Research Corporation found that only 28 percent of workers felt that way The favorable employment environment has placed substantial pressure on employers to offer work-time reductions as both employee recruitment and retention strategies. In the past two years, management consultant Ron Healy has convinced eleven companies to cut their workweek to thirty hours while paying employees for forty (Saltzman, 1997).
Irrespective of the initial motivations behind the workweek reductions, there has been a common result from the change. The lion’s share of businesses have experienced greater productivity. At Covance Incorporated, a pharmaceutical development company; managers have found that more work is done in fewer hours by employees who often telecommute. Likewise, after switching to thirty hours’ work for forty hours’ pay in July 1997, Metro Plastics Technologies saw customer returns drop by 72 percent – an indication of the quality improvements predicted by the efficiency-week hypothesis. Moreover, Metro Plastic Technologies’ costs resulting from the need to rework parts has fallen 79 percent since the implementation of the shorter workweek.
Although business managers have not embraced shorter workweeks on a widespread basis, many of them possess an optimistic view of the concept’s economic impacts. In a U.S. News/Bozell poll, 62 percent of managers surveyed stated that shorter work hours would give employees an incentive to be more productive on the job (U.S. News, 1997). These mentality shifts coupled with the increasing evidence of productivity improvements resulting from reduced workweeks may signify that the time is ripe for productivity advances to be the driving force behind the shorter workweek. If companies continue to experience an efficiency-week benefit while pursuing other benefits, such as easier recruitment and greater employee retention, the objective of enhanced productivity may soon become their principal motivation.
Summary and Conclusion
For the purposes of this article, the paramount result of work-time reductions (such as the Kellogg, Ford, and Leverhulme experiments) is that per-unit labor costs were decreased through a reduction in working hours. However, the societal gains that accrued from workers having more time with their families should not be overlooked as they irrefutably feed back into the productivity of both current and future workers. Although the Kellogg company was able to document empirically the immediate productivity gains resulting from the shorter working day; there are doubtless societal and lagged benefits that have not been captured in the company’s statistics. It is widely accepted that the productivity of future workers depends heavily on parental involvement during their formative years. Susan E. Mayer (1995, p. 1829), as well as numerous other social scientists, has shown that the best predictor of a child’s economic attainment is “home investment.” Thus shorter work durations may have a lagged productivity effect that may not manifest itself until the workers’ offspring enter the labor market.
This article presents substantial evidence to support the proposition that a reduced workweek can serve as a boon to productivity. The virtues of one less day in the rat race are manifold. In espousing his three-day workweek Millard Faught advocates that human nature alone, rather than economic logic or data, will have significant influence in bringing about the workweek revolution. “The fact that millions of us patently want out of the resulting rat race now has become the greatest source of pressure moving us toward a shorter workweek – not a shorter workday” (Faught, 1973).
Copious social issues also warrant a shorter workweek over a daily reduction. As the conventional five-day workweek is inimical to both the environment and the family; a reduction in the number of working days could serve as an ameliorative social policy. First, fewer days of child care per week not only would be a financial blessing to parents but would also serve as a childhood development scheme that could benefit the productivity of our society for years to come. The total number of hours of child care utilization could also be reduced by altering schooling schedules. Lengthening school schedules to emulate the workday could result in four-day (or 32-hour) school weeks. This would obviate the need for after-school day care, and the fifth day could be spend at home. It is not by accident that current school schedules correspond to the demand for agricultural labor. School hours were designed to meet the need of agriculture for child labor in the summer and in the early morning and late afternoon. Economic and technological progress has since rendered this schedule inappropriate for a postindustrial society. Current school schedules are an anachronism that should be altered to coincide with the modern work process.
Second, as traffic and pollution problems escalate at alarming rates in most American cities, commuting less often might not only relieve our environmental woes but cool the tempers of frustrated motorists. Traffic engineer Vincent R. Desimone believes that the total amount of traffic may not be affected by widespread conformity to a four-day workweek, but has found that “maximum relief to the congested areas and freeway system could be achieved through a four-day workweek equally rotated Monday through Saturday” (1971, p. 9). As engines burn more efficiently when the cars are driven at optimal speeds, the environmental windfall resulting from less traffic congestion is obvious.
Switching to a reduced workweek of thirty-two hours would be tantamount to salaried workers’ receiving a 20 percent pay increase. Under such a circumstance both the efficiency-wage and the efficiency-week factors would have an effect on the rate of productivity. Until the productivity gains are manifest, however, some may argue that we are paying people not to work. A powerful rejoinder can be borrowed from our nation’s agricultural policy. If we pay farmers not to farm because they are too productive, why not pay workers not to work for similar reasons?
Employers may now have a choice: To reduce worker turnover and boost both present and future productivity, they can offer either higher wages or shorter workweeks. If employers are too myopic to grasp the long-run productivity gains that abound to society from reduced workweeks, there is a role for the government to play in internalizing the social costs of overwork. Historically, a few of America’s great welfare capitalists have been cognizant of the costs of overwork. In the 1930s, W.K. Kellogg agreed with Henry Ford that the shorter workday was “one of the finest cost-cutting moves ever made” (Hunnicutt, 1996). Henry Ford was told when he posited his $5 workday that workers would fill their increased leisure time with crime, vice, decay, degeneration, frivolity, and drunkenness. However, Ford’s workers opted to drive Thunderbirds rather than to drink Thunderbird, and the evidence suggests that reduced workweeks would likewise foster more virtue than vice.
For Further Reading
Akerlof, George, and Janet Yellen. 1986. Efficiency Wage Models of the Labor Market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bienefeld, M.A. 1972. Working Hours in British Industry: An Economic History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Birk, B.; F.H. Bonjer; and H. von der Sluys. 1961. “Het physiek arbeidsvermogen van de mens.” Tijdschrift voor efficientie en documenatie 31.
Bluestone, Barry, and Stephen Rose. 1997. “Overworked and Underemployed,” American Prospect (March): 58.
Bonjer, F.H. 1968. “Relationship Between Working Time, Physical Working Capacity, and Allowable Caloric Expenditure.” In Muskelarbeit und Muskeltraining, ed. W. Rohmert. Stuttgart: Gentner Verlag.
Bowles, Samuel; David M. Gordon; and Thomas E. Weisskopf. 1990. After the Wasteland. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
—– “Hearts and Minds: A Social Model of U.S. Productivity Growth.” 1983. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, no. 2.
Crowther, Samuel. 1926. “Why I Favor Five Days’ Work with Six Days’ Pay: An Interview with Henry Ford.” In The World’s Work. New York: Doubleday.
Desimone, Vincent, R. 1971. “The 4-Day Work Week and Transportation.” A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of State Highway Officers, Miami, Florida, December 6-10.
Faught, Millard C. 1973. The Three-Day Revolution to Come: Three-Day Workweek, Four-Day Weekend. New York: Bursk and Poor.
Fuchs, Victor, and Joyce Jacobsen. 1998. Women’s Quest for Economic Equality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Galbraith, John Kenneth. 1984. The Affluent Society, 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
Gans, Herbert. 1985. “Toward the 32-Hour Workweek” Social Policy (winter): 58.
Hewlett, Sylvia 1991. When the Bough Breaks: The Cost of Neglecting Our Children. New York: Basic Books.
Hunnicutt, Benjamin. 1996. Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
—–. 1988. Work Without End. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Keynes, John Maynard. 1978. Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes. Vol. 9. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leverhulme, W.H.L. 1919. The Six-Hour Day and Other Industrial Questions. London: Allen and Unwin.
Levitan, Sar. 1964. Reducing Worktime as a Means to Combat Unemployment. Kalamazoo: Upjohn Institute.
Levitan, Sar, and S. Richard. 1977. Shorter Hours, Shorter Weeks: Spreading the Work to Reduce Unemployment. Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press.
Mayer, S.E. 1995. “Review of Succeeding Generations: On the Effects of Investments in Children, by Robert H. Haveman and Barbara L. Wolfe.” American Journal of Sociology 100, no. 6 (May): 1655-57.
Medical Research Council, Industrial Fatigue Research Board. 1923. “Variations in Efficiency in Cotton Weaving.” Report No. 23. London: MRC, pp. 35-39.
Ministry of Munitions, Health of Munition Workers Committee. 1977. Industrial Health. Kawasaki, Japan: National Institute of Industrial Health.
New York State Department of Labor. 1941. Hours of Work in Relation to Health and Efficiency. Albany.
Robinson, J.P., and G. Godbey. 1997. Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Roche, William K.; Brian Fynes; and Terri Morrissey. 1996. “Working Time and Employment: A Review of International Evidence.” International Labour Review 135, no. 2: 129-57.
Rubin, Marcus, and Ray Richardson. 1997. The Microeconomics of the Shorter Working Week. Aldershot, UK: Avebury.
Sahlins, Marshall. 1972. Stone Age Economics. Chicago: Aldine.
Saltzman, Amy. 1997. “When Less Is More.” U.S. News and World Report (October 27).
Schor, Juliet. 1991. The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure. New York: Basic Books.
Stanfield, J.R., and J.B. Stanfield. 1980. “Consumption in Contemporary Capitalism: The Backward Art of Living.” Journal of Economic Issues 14, no. 2: 437-51.
—–. 1997. “Where Has Love Gone? Reciprocity, Redistribution, and the Nurturance Gap.” Journal of Socio-Economics 26: 111.
Stoft, Steven. 1982. “Cheat-Threat Theory: An Explanation of involuntary Unemployment.” Boston University.
U.S. News/Bozell worldwide poll, conducted by KRC Research and Consulting. 1997. New York.
Vernon, H.M. 1917. Further Statistical Information Concerning Output in Relation to Hours of Work with Special Reference to the Influence of Sunday Labour. London: Ministry of Munitions, Memorandum No. 18.
White, Michael. 1987. Working Hours: Assessing the Potential for Reduction. Geneva: International Labour Organisation.
—–. 1981. Case Studies of Shorter Working Time. London: Policy Studies Institute.
White, M., and A. Ghobadian. 1984. Shorter Working Hours in Practice. London: Policy Studies Institute.
ROBERT LAJEUNESSE wrote this article while a lecturer at Colorado State University. He is now a financial economist with the U.S. Treasury.
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