WHEN PATERNALISM MEETS BOGUS ECONOMICS: THE NEW ECONOMICS FOUNDATION'S 21 HOURS REPORT

Authors


Kristian Niemietz is the IEA's Poverty Research Fellow (kristian.niemietz@iea.org.uk).

Abstract

A New Economics Foundation (NEF) report proposes a gradual reduction of the standard working week to 21 hours within about a decade, to achieve three goals: make society more equal, increase wellbeing and drastically reduce carbon emissions. This paper shows that the NEF proposal would not achieve the first two goals at all, and the third one only at tremendous cost. The trade-off that people make between leisure and consumption is an entirely private matter. There is no economic rationale for third-party interference.

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