Europa auf Urlaub

Gegenwärtig liegen in Frankreich und Deutschland in der Altersgruppe der 15 bis 25-Jährigen die durchschnittlichen Arbeitsstunden pro Person um etwa 50 % unter dem US-amerikanischem Wert. In anderen europäischen Ländern (wie beispielsweise Italien und Spanien) liegt dieser Wert zwischen den beiden Extremen. Obwohl sich manche Amerikaner immer gerne mit ihrer überragenden Arbeitsethik brüsten, gab es diese Ungleichheit der Arbeitsstunden zwischen den USA und Europa nicht immer. Tatsächlich war die Anzahl der Arbeitsstunden bis in die Mitte der 1970er Jahre auf beiden Seiten des Atlantiks etwa gleich.

Ab der Mitte der 1970er Jahre allerdings begannen die Westeuropäer jedes Jahr weniger zu arbeiten, während die Amerikaner im Großen und Ganzen auf gleich viele Arbeitsstunden kamen wie vorher. Wenn die Westeuropäer nach einer Erklärung suchen, warum ihr Wirtschaftswachstum dem amerikanischen nachhinkt, müssen sie keine weiteren Nachforschungen anstellen.

Die durchschnittliche Anzahl der Arbeitsstunden pro Person hängt von verschiedenen Faktoren ab:

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