labor time and economic development

Louis Putterman (EC424000@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Fri, 3 Feb 1995 11:08:14 EST

I am a professor of economics at Brown and have recently become
interested in exploring the relationship between the average length
of the workday in pre-colonial societies, and the rate of economic
growth in the post-War period. As you may guess, I'm inclined to
hypothesize that densely populated countries like China and Japan
in which people were used to working very intensely to eke out
subsistence have made a faster transition to modern industry and
commerce. This is simplistic and at the very best needs to be
fleshed out, but then I'm an economist. So: I am wondering whether
any of you know of a cross-country (or cross-cultural) data base
that contains measures of labor intensity or duration for various
cultures. I've looked at some brief descriptions of the HRAF and
am still not sure that that will do the trick. I would be very
grateful for any pertinent replies, especially if sent to me
directly at EC424000 at BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU because I do not
scan this particular bulletin board. Thank you very much. (P.S.:
I minored in anthropology at Columbia!)