Would shorter working time reduce greenhouse gas emissions? An analysis of time use and consumption in Swedish households
Journal article, 2015

This paper addresses the effect of working hours on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from private consumption. Time use and consumption patterns of Swedish households are analysed to estimate the effects of changing income and availability of leisure time. The results indicate that a decrease in working time by 1% may reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. These results are mainly because of the effects of lower income and lower consumption. The partly offsetting effect of households having more time available for leisure activities is less than a tenth of the income effect. In a sketched scenario we also elaborate on the long-term impacts of a work time reduction. A gradual reduction towards a 30-hour working week in 2040 would result in a significantly slower growth of energy demand, which would also make it easier to reach climate targets.

time use

work time reduction

working time

greenhouse gas emissions


energy use


Jonas Nässén

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Jörgen Larsson

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

0263-774X (ISSN)

Vol. 33 4 726-745

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Energy Systems

Areas of Advance


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