Spending Time: The Most Valuable Resource

ISBN : 9780190853839

Daniel S. Hamermesh
232 ページ
156 x 235 mm
  • Comprehensive description of how Americans and people in other rich countries spend time, and the differences between them
  • Shows why time stress is increasing, whom it impinges upon especially, and what can be done to reduce it
  • Clear discussion of how the rich behave differently from the rest of us
  • Highlights male-female differences in sleep, work, TV-watching and other activities

Time is the ultimate scarce resource and thus quintessentially a topic for economics, which studies scarcity. Starting with the observation that time is increasingly valuable given competing demands as we have more things we can buy and do, Spending Timeprovides engaging insights into how people use their time and what determines their decisions about spending their time. 
That our time is limited by the number of hours in a day, days in a year, and years in our lives means that we face constraints and thus choices that involve trade-offs. We sleep, eat, have fun, watch TV, and not least we work. How much we dedicate to each, and why we do so, is intriguing and no one is better placed to shed light on similarities and differences than Daniel S. Hamermesh, the leading authority on time-use. Here he explores how people use their time, including across countries, regions, cultures, class, and gender.
Americans now work more than people in other rich countries, but as recently as the late 1970s they worked no more than others; and they also work longer into older age. Men and women do different things at different times of the day, which affects how well-off they feel. Both the arrival of children and retirement create major shocks to existing time uses, with differences between the sexes. Higher incomes and higher wage rates lead people to hurry more, both on and off the job, and higher wage rates lead people to cut back on activities that take time away from work. 
Being stressed for time is central to modern life, and Hamermesh shows who is rushed, and why. With Americans working more than people in France, Germany, the U.K., Japan and other rich countries, the book offers a simple but radical proposal for changing Americans' lives and reducing the stress about time.


Chapter 1: Introduction -You Can't Always Get What You Want
Chapter 2: What Do We Do When We're Not Working?
Chapter 3: How Much Do We Work?
Chapter 4: When Do We Work?
Chapter 5: Women and Men
Chapter 6: So Happy Together?
Chapter 7: "The Last of Life, for Which the First Was Made"
Chapter 8: The Perennial Issue and an Old/New Concern
Chapter 9: E Pluribus Unum?
Chapter 10: Are "The Rich [really] Different from You and Me"?
Chapter 11: Kvetching About Time
Chapter 12: Do We Have More Time Now? Will We Get More Time?
Chapter 13: What Is to Be Done?


Daniel S. Hamermesh is Distinguished Scholar, Barnard College, Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2013 he received the Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to Labor Economics of the Society of Labor Economists and the IZA Prize in Labor of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

"Spending time with Dan Hamermesh's latest book is informative and entertaining at the same time." -- Alvin Roth, co-winner of the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics and author of Who Gets What and Why

"Time is our greatest gift, our dearest resource. Dan Hamermesh provides a comprehensive and engaging account of how we spend our time, and why it matters. Your time spent reading this thoughtful book will be well worth it." -- Alan B. Krueger, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, and former Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers
"How we spend our time has crucial implications for individual well-being, but also for the way our societies function. This book does an amazing job at providing a much-needed overview of this topic, as well as intriguing details and analysis. It will leave you smarter, inspired -- and motivated to spend your time wisely." -- Christoph M. Schmidt, President, RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
"Daniel Hamermesh has been thinking for decades about time -- how we use it, the forces that shape our choices, and the implications of those choices for our lives and for society. Spending Time is a fascinating and accessible distillation, full of illuminating anecdotes, and sometimes surprising insights about topics as diverse as school schedules, overtime regulation, daylight saving time and climate change." -- Katharine G. Abraham, Professor of Economics and Survey Methodology, University of Maryland
"Time is scarce and this wonderful book brings the power of economic insights from a world renowned researcher to enhance our understanding of the way we use time. Fascinating, accessible, and, perceptive it examines the way different people, at different stages of their life and in different countries around the world spend their time. Spend some time to read this!" -- Professor Richard Blundell, Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London
"Daniel Hamermesh draws on over thirty years as a pioneering scholar on time use to produce a comprehensive and engaging examination of how we spend our time. Enlivened by down-to-earth examples and enriched by economic analysis, Spending Time sheds light on why we feel so stressed for time. It ponders policy options that might relieve our time stress and presents clear-eyed analyses of their likely effects. This illuminating book is well worth an expenditure of the reader's scarce and valuable time." -- Francine D. Blau, Frances Perkins Professor of Economics, Cornell University