chapter  5
The economics of work and leisure
Pages 22

In the early 1980s, economists joined with other analysts in forecasting the dawn of a leisure age in the United Kingdom (UK) (e.g. Vickerman 1980; Jenkins and Sherman 1981). There was a powerful economic logic to this forecast, both theoretical and empirical. On the theory side, so long as leisure is a normal good demand for it would rise as incomes rise and there would be pressure for leisure time to increase as long as real incomes continued to rise. On the empirical side, production processes were experiencing increased substitution of labour by technology, spending on leisure goods and services was increasing steadily, and long-term time trends demonstrated shrinking work hours, expanding holiday entitlements and increasing early retirements.