The changing landscape of work time reduction. The past and the future.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This chapter explains a historical overview of work organization strategies during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It analyses the political and economic factors that affected the work time norms in the second half of the twentieth century, from around 1970 to 2000. The chapter discusses work organization in the changing world of low economic growth, decelerating increases in labour productivity and high levels of unemployment. It examines recent work time reduction and work-sharing policies in several European countries and evaluates their results. Work time reduction (WTR) became a critical and highly disputed issue in the early stages of emerging capitalism when the industrial revolution brought about not only technological advances, but also unprecedented levels of increases in work time. Improved labour productivity led to a hitherto unseen economic output, flooding markets with products and increasing material standards of living.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • worktime reduction
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainability and the Political Economy of Welfare
EditorsMax Koch, Oksana Mont
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317407423, 9781315683850
ISBN (Print)9781138065888, 9781138925281
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 28
Publication categoryResearch