Time stress and its causes.

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  • Source:
    Monthly Labor Review. Oct2004, Vol. 127 Issue 10, p48-48. 1/2p.
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    • Abstract:
      This article references a study by Daniel S. Hamermesh and Jungin Lee in the Working Paper Series of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The authors proposed an economic function depicting households maximizing their utility in the face of some time constraint. Results showed that the binds of the time constraint, that is, time stress, increases along with increases in income. They tested their hypothesis by looking at measures of time stress from surveys of working couples in Australia, Canada, Germany, Korea, and the U.S. Reports of time stress were more common in high-income, two-income families. Part of increased time stress might be the stress that comes with high-paying occupations. But not all of the increase can be attributed to these factors. The authors observed that busy lifestyles of the economically comfortable should be seen as more of a blessing, evidence of the myriad of options and opportunities that are available to those who can afford them. They close with the observation that while answering crunch or kvetch? is a matter of values, it may be more ethical to direct public sympathy to those who suffer from the goods constraint than those for whom the time constraint is the problem--that is the economist's way of saying the poor instead of the financially well-off.