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“Work”? On utility in the market and in the unpaid sphere

  • Mann, Stefan

The argument put forward in this paper is that distinguishing between the social and the unpaid sphere has become much more critical as far as societal analysis is concerned than the increasingly blurred distinction between labor and leisure. It proposes a new household model in this respect to provide explanations for phenomena like the high degree of unhappiness experienced by the unemployed and the prevalence of workaholism. The model illustrates that ‘working’ can be as much a source of utility as ‘leisure activities’. The dependency of the budget situation on choices is outlined and the issue of the crowding out of activities in the unpaid sphere is formalized in the model. Policy implications such as decreased pressure on citizens to work and the introduction of a basic income are postulated.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 86-91

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:45:y:2013:i:c:p:86-91
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Mann, Stefan & Wüstemann, Henry, 2012. "The fading scope of labour – remarks about the lost rationale of a common term," MPRA Paper 39401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Vermeulen, Frederic, 2002. " Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 533-64, September.
  3. Stefan Mann, 2008. "From friendly turns towards trade – on the interplay between cooperation and markets," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 326-337, May.
  4. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2000. "A fine is a price," Natural Field Experiments 00258, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Kaushik Basu, 2006. "Gender and Say: a Model of Household Behaviour with Endogenously Determined Balance of Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 558-580, 04.
  6. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
  7. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
  8. Edward P. Lazear & Ulrike Malmendier & Roberto A. Weber, 2012. "Sorting in Experiments with Application to Social Preferences," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 136-63, January.
  9. Frey, Bruno S & Jegen, Reto, 2001. " Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
  10. Dolfsma, W.A. & Finch, J. & McMaster, R., 2004. "Market and Society: How do they relate, and contribute to welfare?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2004-105-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  11. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  12. Lane, Robert E., 1992. "Work as "disutility" and money as "happiness": Cultural origins of a basic market error," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 43-64.
  13. Gerlach, Knut & Stephan, Gesine, 1996. "A paper on unhappiness and unemployment in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 325-330, September.
  14. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
  15. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  16. Helena Lopes, 2011. "Why Do People Work? Individual Wants Versus Common Goods," Journal of Economic Issues, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 45(1), pages 57-74, March.
  17. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3106943 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Janssen, Maarten C. W. & Mendys-Kamphorst, Ewa, 2004. "The price of a price: on the crowding out and in of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 377-395, November.
  19. David A. Spencer, 2004. "From Pain Cost to Opportunity Cost: The Eclipse of the Quality of Work as a Factor in Economic Theory," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 387-400, Summer.
  20. Klaassen, Ger A. J. & Opschoor, Johannes B., 1991. "Economics of sustainability or the sustainability of economics: Different paradigms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 93-115, November.
  21. Allan Curtis & Marike Van Nouhuys, 1999. "Landcare particpation in Australia: the volunteer perspective," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(2), pages 98-111.
  22. Bernard, Alain L. & Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2007. "Is there a rationale for output-based rebating of environmental levies?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 83-101, May.
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