• Environmental and societal attitudes to working hours in gendered perspective: patterns, preferences and policy

      Arntsen, Alexandra; Philp, Bruce; Donegani, Chiara Paola (Taylor and Francis, 2019-01-31)
      This paper begins from the premise that environmental degradation is a profound and present threat and that work time reduction (WTR) ― with an associated reduction in consumption ― is one of a number of strategies which can be adopted to combat it. As a precursor to looking at how such policies can be supported, our research questions whether environmental attitudes are congruent with work time patterns and preferences. Our initial hypothesis was that those who care most for the environment would work less hours than those who exhibit lower levels of environmental concern, and prefer to do so. However, contra our expectations, our empirical analysis of the European Social Survey shows that those who state they care most about the environment are more likely to work longer hours, and prefer to do so. Overall, men tend to be less concerned about the environment, and work longer. Caring responsibilities, in contrast, fall disproportionately on women. We argue that this reflects traditional gender roles which are a residual from the social norm of the male breadwinner model. Given WTR as an environmental policy the task is to influence preferences and “green” human behaviour, especially among men.