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The Evolution of the Labor Market and Leisure Industries in Spain: Quality of Life versus Standard of Living

Author

Listed:
  • Paramio, Juan Luis

    (Departamento de Educación Física, Deportes y Motricidad Humana. Universidad Autónoma)

  • Zofío, José Luis

    (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Abstract

We discuss the effects that the emergence of the new post-industrial form of flexible capitalist organization has on the Spanish labor market and, by extension, on the working life of two representative groups of employees characterized by their casual and stable working conditions. This brings a growing duality in the labor market, where individuals who cannot escape casual employment coexist with those enjoying long term contracts. This concern includes how these changes affect the nature and the ways in which these particular groups understand quality of life and standard of living, which in turn serves to call into question the ‘end of work’ and the expected ‘leisure society’. In addition, we highlight several circumstances that illustrate a decay in job quality and working conditions, particularly the increase in working hours. Parallel to this process we identify a work-and-spend behavior, resulting in overspent families that exhibit financial fragility and give up quality of life, associated with more free time, for higher living standards, which demand an increasing job commitment. Free time from work has become a scarce resource in Spain, and for those individuals belonging to what is known as the ‘new leisure class’, it is associated with high spending leisure activities, which has increased the economic importance of leisure industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Paramio, Juan Luis & Zofío, José Luis, 2008. "The Evolution of the Labor Market and Leisure Industries in Spain: Quality of Life versus Standard of Living," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2008/06, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  • Handle: RePEc:uam:wpaper:200806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thorstein Veblen, 1899. "Mr. Cummings's Strictures on "The Theory of the Leisure Class"," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 106-106.
    2. Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Free to choose? Differences in the hours determination of constrained and unconstrained workers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 226-252, April.
    3. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
    4. Martin Upchurch, 2004. "Globalization and its Effects on Labour," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 18(4), pages 819-822, December.
    5. Cathleen Whiting, 2004. "Income Inequality, the Income Cost of Housing, and the Myth of Market Efficiency," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 851-879, October.
    6. Jonathan Michie & Christine Oughton & Frank Wilkinson, 2002. "Against the New Economic Imperialism: Some Reflections," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 351-365, January.
    7. Robert W. Fogel, 1999. "Catching Up with the Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 1-21, March.
    8. Jerry Jacobs & Kathleen Green, 1998. "Who Are the Overworked Americans?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 442-459.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ian Dew-Becker & Robert J. Gordon, 2008. "The Role of Labor Market Changes in the Slowdown of European Productivity Growth," NBER Working Papers 13840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour market; cycle of work-and-spend; free time; leisure industries; Spain;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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    1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

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