Inderscience Publishers

The changing contribution of unpaid work to the total standard of living in sustainable development scenarios

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In Europe since the 1950s, average working hours have declined steadily and the time available for unpaid work has increased. Nonetheless, its contribution to the total standard of living has not been taken into account so far, although the majority of working hours in Germany and Europe is in unpaid work. The qualitative integration of unpaid work in the new framework concept of "mixed work" is introduced as an alternative more appropriate for the emerging new patterns of working life than the traditional concept of lifelong, full-time "normal work". Two quantitative sustainability scenario simulations have been evaluated concerning their impact on unpaid work. Depending on the kind of politics simulated (cost cutting, growth, integrated sustainability), the future contribution of unpaid work to the total standard of living can decline, stagnate, or increase. The implications of different policies on time budgets are discussed.

Keywords: gender, non-market services, sustainability, total standard of living, unpaid work

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