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Americans Work 25% More Than Europeans, Study Finds

 
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2016 11:41 pm
Quote:
European workers labor about an hour less a day than their U.S. counterparts, new data suggest.
[...]
A new study tries to measure precisely how much more Americans work than Europeans do overall. The answer: The average person in Europe works 19 percent less than the average person in the U.S. That’s about 258 fewer hours per year, or about an hour less each weekday. Another way to look at it: U.S. workers put in almost 25 percent more hours than Europeans.
[...]
One theory is that Americans work longer hours because their additional effort is more likely to pay off. People earn a wider range of incomes in the U.S., so “workers have an incentive to try harder to move up the job ladder because a promotion is worth more,” said Dora Gicheva, an economist at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, citing a study that compared the U.S. with Germany.

Taxes are an issue. Despite what Donald Trump has said, taxes in the U.S. are substantially lower than in Europe. Studies have suggested that this higher tax burden reduces the incentive to earn more by putting in extra hours.

Maybe the key factor is that labor unions, along with other worker protections, are much stronger in Europe than in the U.S. “The data strongly suggest that labor regulation and unionization appear to be the dominant factors explaining the differences between the United States and Europe,” economists at Harvard and Dartmouth concluded in a 2006 study (PDF).

Generous pensions in Europe are also a strong factor in discouraging older people from working, the study said. In the U.S., more people over 65 are working than at any point in the past 50 years. The U.S.’s shift from traditional pensions to 401(k) plans makes it harder for Americans to know when it’s safe to retire.
One thing is clear. The difference in hours worked between Americans and Europeans is more than a difference in cultures. As recently as the early 1970s, according to several studies, people in the U.S. and Western Europe worked about the same number of hours per week.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,158 • Replies: 24
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saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 12:54 am
What a study!
Comparing one country with what?
Is it Europe with over 40 countries or is it EU with still 28?
There are some really poor countries in Europe/EU and there are some rich.
The pensions are different, people are different
In some countries work is done fast in others the workers do not even show up.
Many Scandinavians are active and like to work after 65. They go to the doctor less than the Germans, who prefer to stop working before 65 and spend more time with doctors. A Swede goes 6x a year a German 18x.

It sounds like a German study to proove how much better we Europeans/EUcitizens have it compared with Americans.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 01:10 am
@saab,
Just read about the article in Swedish in Dagens Nzheter.
It is much longer, much more differentiated.
Included are everybody in a working age - no matter if they work or not
Amongst other things this article points out that just because you are at your work does not mean you work. Germany is on the lower part with 20,2 hours,
the Italians with 18 and the Swedes with 21,9.
This article also points out that it is not a cultural difference.
I would put a ? behind that.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 01:19 am
@saab,

saab wrote:

Amongst other things this article points out that just because you are at your work does not mean you work.


Ain't that the cotton pickin' truth? I'm thinking of the vast number of people employed by our US government.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 01:40 am
@roger,
A new passport in Sweden takes 5 workingdays
in Germany it takes 3 to 4 weeks.
(the Swedish is so beautiful inside with almost abstract pictures of different cities)
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 05:15 am
@saab,
saab wrote:
What a study!
Comparing one country with what?
Is it Europe with over 40 countries or is it EU with still 28?
The countries and methods are noted in the study
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 05:25 am
@saab,
saab wrote:
Just read about the article in Swedish in Dagens Nzheter.
It is much longer, much more differentiated.
I think, too, that the 40 pages of the study aren't really long.
But - as noted - it's a "Discussion Paper", based on material included in previous work of the authors.

So it's fine that others have a longer and more differentiated opinion - I imagine, the authors might think similar.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 05:36 am
@saab,
saab wrote:
A new passport in Sweden takes 5 workingdays
in Germany it takes 3 to 4 weeks.
We get our passports centrally from the Federal Printing Office (a state owned "private" enterprise).
They say, it takes some time (three weeks minimum) to produce the chip etc.
On the other hand, if you pay more (€91 instead of normally €59) you get the passport within 48 hours.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 06:29 am
@Walter Hinteler,
When I need a new passport I go to the police.
There they take my picture, measure how tall I am, take my fingerprints and five week days later I have the passport. Where it has been printing is of no interest for me as long as I get it.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 06:38 am
@saab,
saab wrote:
Comparing one country with what?
Is it Europe with over 40 countries or is it EU with still 28?


saab wrote:
Just read about the article in Swedish in Dagens Nzheter.
It is much longer, much more differentiated.
Så mycket mer jobbar amerikaner
Om man väger in alla orsaker till ledighet och frånvaro jobbar amerikaner ungefär 25 procent mer än européer, visar en ny studie. Det motsvarar ungefär en timme mer per vardag.


Your differentiated source used the same generalizing terms "amerikaner" instead of 'US-Americans', "européer" instead of "citizens from 18 reviewed European countries Wink
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 07:02 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Yes, the article uses the same terms, but it is basicly more differentiated.

I said a Swedish passport takes 5 working days a German 3 - 4weeks.
Right away you have to correct me and tell me it takes three weeks or more.

I just wanted to say something light to roger about government workers and then you have to turn it into something important. For heavens sake who cares if it is 3 to 4 weeks or 3 weeks or more. Stop being such a pedantic German.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 07:19 am
@saab,
I was just interested myself how long it takes here - sorry.

I quoted the report from the 'Business Insider', because it was the first in English I'd got. And I didn't want to quote from the actual paper or summarize it myself. My bad.

But the actual title really is "Hours Worked in Europe and the US".
Only in the actual text (and footnotes), the authors distinguish and verify ("This paper documents differences in hours worked per person between the US and 18 European countries")


I suppose, you mean that the Swedish newspaper's report is "basicly more differentiated" than that of the 'Business Insider'. Or do you mean "basicly more differentiated" to the original paper?
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 07:25 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Of course I meant
the Swedish newspaper's report is "basicly more differentiated" than the one you used on this page.
Of course I did not mean the original paper? If I had meant the original paper I would mentilone I read it and showed it here.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 07:32 am
@saab,
Well, another reason why I quoted the 'Business Insider' is that the paper is linked in the report there ... and I didn't provide! Embarrassed

Direct link to the paper: Hours Worked in Europe and the US: New Data, New Answers
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 01:47 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Just my biased opinion, but I always thought of continental Europeans as more involved with their persona/image of being the bon vivant, rather than the American brand of upwardly mobile success story. It might be hard to put in extra hours of work when one is drinking espresso at a cafe and blowing smoke rings with one's cigarette? Also, historically, the way some European nations thought of gaining wealth was to vanquish another country, or have a colony? Not exactly the American version of wealth building? We did it all in one country.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 01:55 pm
@Foofie,
Perhaps that's what the authors meant with "differences in weeks worked and in the educational composition".

I'm not very sure, though, that all what you wrote can be seen in data from 1983 through 2011. But might well be.

ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 02:01 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I worked during my teen school life and later after school at university and later taking years of art classes after work, and in my forties, more evening school after a full time j0b and then doing homework in the middle of the night.

No wonder I'm a lazy bum now. I'm not sorry for all that, though.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2016 12:59 am
@Foofie,
The working moral, which in some ways was also dependent of weather, was different in Europe.
People in northern Europe were Protestants/Lutherans lived in a cold climate and had to see to everything was well prepared for the winter.
In the south life was different. There were the hot hours were people had a siesta and worked later.
These attitudes the first emmigrants took along to Amerika. The American version of wealth building - in my opinion - comes from the Europeans.
They saw their chance in America. The Europeans - not the Americans - from the beginning made colonies in the land of America. The Europeans did not get land without war against the native Americans.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2016 01:00 pm
@saab,
saab wrote:

The working moral, which in some ways was also dependent of weather, was different in Europe.
People in northern Europe were Protestants/Lutherans lived in a cold climate and had to see to everything was well prepared for the winter.
In the south life was different. There were the hot hours were people had a siesta and worked later.
These attitudes the first emmigrants took along to Amerika. The American version of wealth building - in my opinion - comes from the Europeans.
They saw their chance in America. The Europeans - not the Americans - from the beginning made colonies in the land of America. The Europeans did not get land without war against the native Americans.



Your explanation, in my opinion, sounds like the fable of the grasshopper and the ant (where the ant stored food all summer, so it had food for the winter, while the grasshopper fiddled all summer, and in the winter came to the ant for food).

I don't believe it is all based on the respective climate that the colonists left behind in Europe. It is, as we were taught in school, that the original colonists were Calvinists, and left their mark on the U.S. culture with their belief that "idle hands brings the Devil."
0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2016 10:21 pm
Who cares how we in the US compare to those lazy Europeans? I bet we're behind Japan and India. We shall double our efforts!
 

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