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Holidays and happiness

Happiness and wellbeing are the flavour of the month. Everyone agrees that money can’t buy you love or happiness, but there is an implication that a more leisurely and less harassed life with long holidays is part of the answer. A long-view look at the data suggests, however, that time off has risen dramatically without having the desired effect.

Since 1870, GDP per head has increased by almost 600 per cent in Britain and by 1,200 per cent in America. But average annual hours worked per employee in Britain have fallen by almost half. In 1870,…

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