欧洲的休闲陷阱

在传统上,美国的黑色星期五是感恩节的第二天。这一天标志着节日季节大减价的开始。天亮的时候,人们在百货公司前排起长队来抢购“先来先得”降价商品。在欧洲,黑色星期六是七月份的最后一个周末。那时,法国和其他欧洲各国的人们成群结队地前往地中海假日目的地,高速公路上都在堵车。

这一比较可以作为大西洋两岸生活方式区别的象征。美国人每周工作时间更长,休假时间更短,但是他们有更多的钱可以花。不仅美国成年人工作的比例更高,而且他们也每周工作更长,每年工作更多的星期。2004年,法国人比美国人人均工作时间少28%,德国人和荷兰人少25%,而他们挣的钱也就相应比美国人少。他们的人均收入几乎要比美国人低30%。

麻省理工大学经济学家布兰查德认为,欧洲人比美国人更为享受休闲时光,即使这意味着他们收入更少。根据他的观点,这一态度上的差异解释了欧洲和美国之间的收入差距。

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