The Gig Economy. Zero-hours contracts. Videogames. A study by the National Bureau of Economics has suggested that one of them is the reason young men are working fewer hours than they used to. The answer probably won’t come as much of a surprise.
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In a paper released in September 2016, the NBE found that the number of hours worked per week by men between the ages of 21-55 had fallen dramatically in the wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis. At the same time, the amount of time spent gaming by certain groups of these men had grown by up to 70%, and was now likely to make up the lion’s share of their leisure time.
It’s worth noting that the study also acknowledges the fact that the amount these same young men consume – whether that’s food, games, or whatever else they might spend their money on – hasn’t really changed, and neither has their wages. Yet it still goes on to conclude that “there is reason to insure a child’s income loss caused by better leisure options, just as there would be to insure that loss from worse labor market options”. Basically, if your kids can’t find a job, make sure you take their computer from them, rather than questioning why the job market has fallen apart.
It’s quite hard-going, but if you want to know more, you can read the entire paper here. While you do that, make sure not to invest time or money in your hobbies, lest you end up penniless.