The Temporal Welfare State: a Cross-National Comparison

Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 449

42 Pages Posted: 23 May 2006

See all articles by James Mahmud Rice

James Mahmud Rice

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Robert E. Goodin

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Antti Parpo

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

Welfare states contribute to people's well-being in many different ways. Bringing all these contributions under a common metric is tricky. Here we propose doing so through the notion of temporal autonomy: the freedom to spend one's time as one pleases, outside the necessities of everyday life. Using surveys from five countries (the United States, Australia, Germany, France, and Sweden) that represent the principal types of welfare and gender regimes, we propose ways of operationalizing the time that is strictly necessary for people to spend in paid labor, unpaid household labor, and personal care. The time people have at their disposal after taking into account what is strictly necessary in these three arenas - which we call discretionary time - represents people's temporal autonomy. We measure the impact on this of government taxes, transfers, and childcare subsidies in these five countries. In so doing, we calibrate the contributions of the different welfare and gender regimes that exist in these countries, in ways that correspond to the lived reality of people's daily lives.

Keywords: autonomy, discretionary time, gender, state, time use, welfare

JEL Classification: H11, I30, J16, J22

Suggested Citation

Rice, James Mahmud and Goodin, Robert E. and Parpo, Antti, The Temporal Welfare State: a Cross-National Comparison (May 2006). Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 449, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=903934 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.903934

James Mahmud Rice (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.jamesmahmudrice.info

Robert E. Goodin

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 6125 5111 (Phone)

Antti Parpo

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia