Time Allocation, Consumption, Policy


Time Allocation, Consumption, and Consumer Policy, Special issue of Journal of Consumer Policy, Edited by Wencke Gwozdz; Deadline 31 Mar 2009

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Call for Papers for a JCP Special Issue on

“Time Allocation, Consumption, and Consumer Policy (Working Title)”

Editor: Lucia Reisch (Copenhagen Business School)
Guest Editors: Wencke Gwozdz (Copenhagen Business School), Alfonso Sousa-Poza (University of Hohenheim)

Surprisingly little academic attention has been given to shifting patterns in time use in the past few decades, despite dramatic changes in time use. Since the 1980s, working time has declined in OECD countries by more than seven hours per week for both men and women, and, although total work (i.e. both paid and unpaid) is quite similar between genders, there is a gender-specific composition of this total work: women reduced their housework substantially, yet men increased theirs only marginally. Reduced working hours have also gone hand-in-hand with increases in leisure time. Additionally, big changes in the structure and timing of activities have taken place, e.g., individuals do not have as much uninterrupted time for one sole activity as they used to have in the past. Such changes do not only affect the allocation of time, but also private consumption in many areas. This, in turn, means a challenge for consumer policy.

This special issue of the Journal of Consumer Policy (JCP) focuses on understanding the causes and implications of these changing patterns of time allocation and consumption – from both an academic and a policy perspective. Relevant questions that can be addressed within this special issue are, for example:

Consumer aspects:

  • Do we get financially richer – yet “time poorer”?
  • What does this mean for the individual consumer?
  • What has caused these changes in time allocation?

Policy aspects:

  • What are the implications for consumer policy? Do, e.g., the “time-poor” pay more?
  • Have policy measures influenced the way we allocate our time?
  • Which policy instruments are needed to cope with the changes in time allocation?

Other aspects:

  • Is there gender-specific behaviour with regard to time allocation and consumption?
  • How can persistent gender differences in time use be explained?
  • What are the effects of mother’s time structures on their children’s consumption (e.g. children’s eating patterns, mass media consumption, etc.)?
  • Does marketing / advertisements enhance gender differences in time use patterns?

The editors of this special issue welcome contributions reflecting different perspectives, methodological approaches, international and cross-cultural contexts. While empirical papers are strongly encouraged, theoretical and conceptual contributions which address issues arising from time consumption and wider aspects of the time use debate within consumer policy research are particularly welcome.

The papers for this special issue have to be submitted before 31st March 2009.

Further details for submission are available at the journal website:


About the Journal

The interdisciplinary Journal of Consumer Policy (Springer Publ.) is a (double blind) peer reviewed journal publishing theoretical and empirical works that use a wide variety of methodological approaches that advance the studies of consumer behaviour, explore the interests of consumers and consequences of actions of consumers as well as consumers’ policy issues. It publishes four issues per year since more than three decades (Vol. 31).

JCP encompasses a broad range of issues concerned with consumer affairs. It looks at the consumer’s dependence on existing social and economic structures, helps to define the consumer’s interest, and discusses the ways in which consumer welfare can be fostered – or restrained – through actions and policies of consumers, industry, organizations, government, educational institutions, and the mass media. It publishes theoretical and empirical research on consumer and producer conduct, emphasizing the implications for consumers and increasing communication between the parties in the marketplace.

Articles cover consumer issues in law, economics, and behavioural sciences. Current areas of topical interest include the impact of new information technologies, the economics of information, the consequences of regulation or deregulation of markets, problems related to an increasing internationalization of trade and marketing practices, consumers in less affluent societies, the efficacy of economic cooperation, consumers and the environment, problems with products and services provided by the public sector, the setting of priorities by consumer organizations and agencies, gender issues, product safety and product liability, and the interaction between consumption and associated forms of behaviour such as work and leisure.