Work Hours and Comparative Advantage
By Arnold Kling
Tim Worstall reports on research that explains the differences between hours worked in the U.S. and Europe.
the fact that many German women stay at home to make sauerkraut, while more American women go outside the home to do something they’re good at, buying the food at the supermarket on the way home, means that the American women are both richer and have more leisure time.
There are three blocks of time: market work, unpaid work at home, and leisure. Americans have more market work and more leisure. Europeans do more unpaid work at home.
What this means is the European GDP is understated, because the unpaid work at home does not count. But by the same token, European leisure is overstated in any measure that fails to take into account unpaid work.