Exploring the Relationships Between Working Time, Consumption, and the Environment
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This thesis explores the relationships between working time, consumption, and environmental impact by expanding on the work of Hayden and Shandra (2009) and Knight, Rosa, and Schor (2013). Panel data models were constructed to estimate the relationship between working hours and three measures of environmental impact: Ecological Footprint, carbon Ecological Footprint, and CO2 emissions. The sample contains 2007-2012 data from OECD countries, and a number of control variables were included. Of particular interest was the influence of GDP/capita, full and part-time employment, and female participation in the labour force on the relationship between working hours and environmental impact. The results show a positive and statistically significant relationship between working hours and all three measures of environmental impact. These estimates, however, are smaller and less significant when GDP/capita is controlled for. This indicates that the positive relationship between working hours and environmental impact is predominantly driven by variation in GDP/capita. Work-time reduction could cause a decline in environmental impact; the desirability of such a policy is contingent on attitudes towards consumption.