The Misadventures of Working Time in the 21st Century



Working hours were at the centre of social progress in the second half of the last century. Now deregulation has become the rule, breaking up personal and family life. The actual reduction in working time has been more fortunate than the reduction imagined almost a century ago by its celebrated supporter Lord Keynes, when he made his famous “prophecy” in a speech given in Madrid in the summer of 1930. On that occasion, he argued that, over the course of a century or so, working hours would be reduced to three hours a day. His prediction entered Keynesian literature, but remained always on the sidelines of the discourse on full employment that was his principal assessment.



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