Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gross Downtime Product

In my two posts on Tyler Cowen's new ebook, The Great Stagnation, I described a concern (but not crisis) about the possibility of future economic growth. But perhaps even if we don't don't get more productive at work, we are getting more productive at play:
recent advances in technology are actually increasing per-hour productivity by much more than we realize. But then workers are absorbing those gains by goofing off more at their desks, spending their time on Facebook and surfing the web, and completing their tasks only marginally faster than they used to despite much greater productivity. Admit it: the typical white collar office worker under 35 is spending at least a quarter of his or her day on social networking, reading blogs and chatting with friends. Hours worked are shrinking much faster than hours “worked,” and we’re enjoying a lot more leisure time than is reflected in the data.
Maybe this is the solution to our money > time problem.

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