Time allocation, whether considered at the level of the individual or of the society, is a major focus of public concern. Are our lives more congested with work than they used to be? Is society polarizing into groups which, on one side, have too much work and too little leisure time to spend their money in, and on the other have no paid work, and hence no money to pay for the goods and services they might wish to use during their leisure? Has the recent convergence
in men's and women's labour market roles led to an unfair distribution of the totals of paid plus unpaid work? These issues, and others similar, once the preserve of a few specialist sociologists and economists, now appear daily and prominently across the news and entertainment media.
Yet there is surprisingly little substantive evidence of how individuals and societies spend their time, and of how this has changed in the developed world over the recent past. This book brings together, for the first time, data gathered in some forty national scale 'time-diary' studies, from twenty countries, and covering the last third of the twentieth century. It examines the newly emerging political economy of time, in the light of new estimates of how time is actually spent, and of how
this has changed, in the developed world.