Leisure in Japan, 1986-2006: A Revival?

Japan is famous for long working hours. For decades the Japanese government has tried to influence how people spend their free time. In 5-yearly surveys since 1986 the government has surveyed “quality of life,” gauging how much time people spend daily in various activities, including “leisure.” Analyzing results from these time use surveys, from 2006 back to 1986, and controlling for labor market conditions, this study determines whether time spent on leisure activities has actually changed. Gains in some types of leisure have been fleeting. Yet in other respects leisure has been enhanced, with significant increases occurring in active recreational pastimes. Nevertheless, leisure remains elusive for mid-career employees. Moreover, there is a pronounced gender gap for leisure time.

Publication Information
Article Title: Leisure in Japan, 1986-2006: A Revival?
Journal: Journal of Family Economic Issues (2012)
33, 250-260
Author(s): Fuess, Jr., Scott M
Researcher Information
Fuess, Jr., Scott M
Fuess, Jr., Scott M
Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Business, Department Chair
  • Economy of Japan
  • Labor Economics (wages, employment, working conditions, unions)
  • Macroeconomics
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