Discussion Paper

No. 2018-74 | October 10, 2018
Leisure time and labor productivity: a new economic view rooted from sociological perspective


Most economists measure labor productivity based on activities conducted at places of work and do not consider leisure time in their calculations. In contrast, psychologists and sociologists argue that leisure has a positive role in the production process: leisure can improve individuals’ labor productivity by affecting their self-development. Using empirical data from 21 OECD countries, this study finds that leisure time has a dual effect on labor productivity in terms of per capita per hour GDP. Moreover, leisure time is nonlinearly associated with labor productivity (inverted U-shaped). When leisure time reaches the optimal level (5813 hours), leisure has a compensatory effect on work and can positively influence labor productivity, but when leisure time exceeds the optimal value, leisure has a substitution effect on work and can negatively influence labor productivity.

JEL Classification:

D24, D61


  • Downloads: 588


Cite As

Dan Cui, Xiang Wei, Dianting Wu, Nana Cui, and Peter Nijkamp (2018). Leisure time and labor productivity: a new economic view rooted from sociological perspective. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2018-74, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2018-74

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - Referee Report 1
November 01, 2018 - 08:45

see attached file

Dan Cui - Reply to Referee Report 1
November 12, 2018 - 10:39

Letter to editor and reviewer(see attached file)

Dan Cui - Revised Version
November 12, 2018 - 10:40

see attached file

Anonymous - Referee Report 2
January 09, 2019 - 08:04

"Leisure Time and Labor Productivity: A New Economic View Rooted from Sociological Perspective"

Reviewer Recommendation: Major Revision

Reviewer Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to review the paper. Overall I think the paper is pretty solid in research design and data analysis with the support of ...[more]

... 34 years data of 21 countries. I have a few comments, which I consider should be addressed to further enhance the quality of the study.

1. The title of the study highlighted that the study is from sociological perspective. I feel the emphasis in writing is not clear enough. I would suggest using sub-headings in literature. Probably one heading focus on Traditional (Economic) View on Leisure Time and Labor Productivity and a second heading focus on Sociological View on Leisure Time and Labor Productivity. The literature has some relevant content on both but are not in-depth and distinct enough.

2. I would suggest put the subjective well-being literature under the “Sociological View on Leisure Time and Labor Productivity” Literature. In addition, a more in-depth and comprehensive review of literature is needed here. For example, the definition on subjective well-being is missing. The relationships between subjective well-being, productivity (or efficiency/efficacy) and leisure time are not clear enough at this stage. I would suggest authors dig further into the literature and clearly identity and summarize previous conclusions on relationships among key constructs (variables).

3. Based on that it is also important to identify the key differences between traditional economic view and the sociological view on the relationship between leisure time and productivity. Then justify why it is important and necessary to perform your proposed study. What unique contributions your study will make to existing literature.

4. Then a stronger link between your proposed model and your sociological perspective literature is missing. You probably need to link the variables in your proposed theoretical model with previous literature, which may help build these links.
5. Minor pub punctuation issue. For example, “Li and Tsai (2013)explored” a space is needed between “) “ and “explore”. Please check though the whole document for similar mistakes.
Good luck!