というIMFポッドキャスト(原題は「Juliet Schor on the Benefits of a 4-Day Week」)をMostly Economicsが紹介している。以下はその要旨。

Productivity has been the driving force behind the five- sometimes six-day workweek, but there is a growing body of evidence that shows a shorter week is equally, if not more productive in many respects. Juliet Schor is a champion of the four-day week and led the charge in the early 90s with her book The Overworked American, which studies the pitfalls of choosing money over time. Schor is an economist and sociologist at Boston College and heads the research for global trials of companies instituting four-day workweeks. Journalist Rhoda Metcalfe spoke with Juliet Schor about her four-day week mission, as part of our special Women in Economics series.


Yes and no. So many companies do it that way. And that you might think of as the classic, how do you fit 5 days work into four days. And many companies do that. They change their meetings culture, they create focus time. They figure out how we can save time and be just as efficient. There's a lot of, let's say, less than optimal time use particularly in white collar. But that's not the only way for businesses to make this work. They can also benefit by reducing burnout, reducing resignations, increasing applicants to unfilled positions and so forth.

ショアはこの後、「This isn't just game-changing. It's life-changing.(これはゲームチェンジャーであるだけでなくライフチェンジャーだ)」という導入企業の従業員の言葉を引いたりして、週四日制のメリットを力説している。

I started looking at working hours... Actually, my very first job, I was in a small college in Western Massachusetts and I got interested in this topic, the question of whether or not there was a bias in capitalist economies to take productivity growth in the form of more production rather than more leisure.
And so I started thinking about that. Well, what is the interest of an employer in how productivity growth is used, more wages versus more time off? Does the employer care? And I developed a little model showing that actually the employer prefers longer hours. In the standard economic models of the time, there was no bias and the hours of work were driven by worker preferences. So workers, employees, whatever, had preferences for time and money, and that's what drove the time-money trade-off. And I said, "No, that's wrong. There's actually a structural bias here, so we get too much money and not enough time."
And so that's been a real through line in my work. In 2010, I published a book called Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth, which is arguing, let's think not just about wealth in goods and services or money, financial wealth, but time wealth. And then I did a lot of work on the relationship between working hours and carbon emissions and show that high emissions go along with long hours of work.
そこでそれについて考え始めました。生産性成長が賃金上昇と余暇の増加のどちらに使われるかについて、雇用者の利益はどこにあるのか? 雇用者はそれを気に掛けるだろうか? 私は小さなモデルを構築し、確かに雇用者は長時間労働を選好することを示しました。時間の標準的な経済モデルでは偏りは存在せず、労働時間は労働者の嗜好によって決まります。即ち労働者ないし被雇用者といった立場の人は時間とお金に対し選好を持ち、それが時間とお金のトレードオフを決めることになります。それについて私は「いや、それは間違っている。ここには構造的な偏りが確かに存在し、お金が多過ぎて時間が十分でない状況が生じているのだ」と言いました。


経済が生産性上昇を積み重ねても労働時間が減ってこなかったことについては、なぜ資本主義は無意味な職を創出するのか - himaginary’s diaryケインズの労働時間の予測はなぜ外れたのか? - himaginary’s diaryで紹介した議論のように、ケインズの「わが孫たちの経済的可能性」の予言がなぜ実現しなかったか、というテーマで経済学者が考察してきたところであり、また、ミヒャエル・エンデの「モモ (岩波少年文庫(127))」などの文学作品のテーマになってきたところであるが、経済学者が実際に労働時間を減らす取り組みを推進している、というのは注目すべき動きのように思われる。