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Work, Leisure and the Environment

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Work, Leisure and the Environment

The Vicious Circle of Overwork and Over Consumption

9781847201034 Edward Elgar Publishing
Tim Robinson, Professor of Economics and Head, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, Australia where he is also a Researcher with the Institute for Sustainable Resources
Publication Date: 2007 ISBN: 978 1 84720 103 4 Extent: 136 pp
This significant book explains how work–life balance is being destroyed because individuals fail to link their work effort with its adverse environmental effects and the personal costs they impose.

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This significant book explains how work–life balance is being destroyed because individuals fail to link their work effort with its adverse environmental effects and the personal costs they impose.

The burgeoning literature dealing with work–life balance suggests that the developed world is more interested in this issue today than at any other time in the recent past. Provocative and insightful, Work, Leisure and the Environment presents a rigorous explanation based on economic theory as to why contemporary societies suffer from over-work and work–life imbalance, asserting that they are both the cause and effect of environmental degradation. The author focuses upon a fundamental flaw in contemporary market economies that causes individuals to unknowingly reduce their well-being by working and consuming excessively, while enjoying inadequate leisure time. It is argued that this inability to correctly assess the benefits derived from their work effort causes individuals to place unreasonable and unsustainable demands on the environment. By ignoring the environmental destruction that accompanies work effort, its benefits are overestimated and, as a consequence, individuals voluntarily choose to work longer hours than they should.

This engaging volume will have widespread appeal amongst researchers and policymakers interested in the environment, consumerism and labour markets and will also be an invaluable reference tool for studies into leisure and work–life balance.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . a wonderfully accessible and persuasive contribution to an increasingly urgent and broad literature focusing on overwork, consumerism, environmental disamenity and the work–life balance. . . an excellent scholarly piece of work, drawing on a wide range of literature, and written in a very engaging and inclusive style. It will appeal to – and deserves to be read by – as wide an audience as possible.’
– Richard J. White, Leisure Studies
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Economic Approaches to the Environment 2. The Fundamental Flaw 3. How Workers are Short-Changed by Externalities 4. Critiques of Consumerism and the Consumption Treadmill 5. Measuring the Cost of the Fundamental Flaw 6. The Cumulative Effect and International Differences 7. Policies to Tackle the Fundamental Flaw 8. Intuitive Reasoning versus Deliberative Thought References Index
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