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Time Budgets as Social Indicators

  • Jonathan Gershuny (a1)


The social indicators movement sought to establish a system of social accounting that was broader than the money-based national income accounts. Specialized studies of social trends in housing, health, crime, and so forth could be successful in illuminating a specific area of social life, but together they became obstacles to the achievement of the ideal of an integrated set of social accounts. Even if crime and housing have a relationship the statistics generated within each domain are together incommensurable.



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1 Still the best introduction to the history and best practice in time budget research is provided by a Szalai The Use of Time, Mouton, The Hague, 1973.

2 For detailed discussion of the trends that emerge from the data, see ‘Changing Patterns of Time Use, UK 1961 to 1984’, Gershuny, J. and Jones, S., Sociological Review Monographs 22, 1987.

3 This literature is critically reviewed in Luisella Goldschmidt-Clermont, Economic Evaluations of Unpaid Work, International Labour Office, Geneva 1987.

4 The model briefly outlined here is discussed in more detail in ‘Technical Change and the Work-Leisure Balance’, Technology and Economic Progress ed. Silberston, Aubrey, London: Macmillan, 1989.

Time Budgets as Social Indicators

  • Jonathan Gershuny (a1)


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