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ERIC Number: EJ829669
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
The Value of Non-Work Time in Cross-National Quality of Life Comparisons: The Case of the United States vs. the Netherlands
Verbakel, Ellen; DiPrete, Thomas A.
Social Forces, v87 n2 p679-712 Dec 2008
Comparisons of wellbeing between the United States and Western Europe generally show that most Americans have higher standards of living than do Western Europeans at comparable locations in their national income distributions. These comparisons of wellbeing typically privilege disposable income and cash transfers while ignoring other aspects of welfare state and labor market structure that potentially affect the distribution of wellbeing in a society. We argue that non-work time is such a factor. In this empirical exercise involving the United States and the Netherlands, we show that reasonable estimates of the contribution to wellbeing from non-market activities such as the raising of children or longer vacations can overturn claims in the literature that the United States offers greater wellbeing to more of its citizens than do western European countries. (Contains 4 tables, 4 figures and 15 notes.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands; United States