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Scientific paper


Worktime Reduction and Rebound Effects

Johannes Buhl

Entry type:
Scientific paper

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Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


Abstract: Worktime reduction is considered to be essential when it comes to theories and models of de-growing economies. So far, productivity gains are re-invested in favor of economic growth. Consequently, rising opportunity costs of time per growing national income lead to time rebound effects, since time savings become as precious as economic life speeds up. This comes with resource intensive consumption, for instance in private mobility, that is supposed to save time. But gains in productivity may just as well come with reduced working time in order to relieve production and consumption from the exhaustion of natural resources while fostering the work-life balance of employees. Eventually, time intensive activities are supposed to substitute resource intensive consumption. In this regard, I provide empirical indications for the social heterogeneity in the relation of time use and life satisfaction by analyzing the Socio-Economic Panel for Germany between 2001 and 2011. In addition, I give empirical insights into the substitution hypotheses (as formulated above) by analyzing time rebound effects and rationalities from semi-standardized interviews.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session "Rebound Effect I: Energy, efficiency, and growth" at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.

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