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

  • 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)

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.

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Paper provided by Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History) in its series Working Papers in Economic Theory with number 2008/06.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uam:wpaper:200806
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