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Social Indicators Research

, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 43–70 | Cite as

The Time-Pressure Illusion: Discretionary Time vs. Free Time

  • Robert E. Goodin
  • James Mahmud Rice
  • Michael Bittman
  • Peter Saunders
Article

Abstract

People’s welfare is a function of both time and money. People can – and, it is said, increasingly do – suffer time-poverty as well as money-poverty. It is undeniably true that people feel increasingly time pressured, particularly in dual-earner households. But much of the time devoted to paid and unpaid tasks is over and above that which is strictly necessary. In that sense, much of the time pressure that people feel is discretionary and of their own making. Using data from the 1992 Australian Time Use Survey, this paper demonstrates that the magnitude of this ‘time-pressure illusion’ varies across population groups, being least among lone parents and greatest among the childless and two-earner couples.

Keywords

discretionary time free time leisure time pressure time use 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Goodin
    • 1
  • James Mahmud Rice
    • 1
  • Michael Bittman
    • 2
  • Peter Saunders
    • 2
  1. 1.Social & Political Theory Program Research School of Social SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Social Policy Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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