INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON WORKING CONDITIONS
‘The relationship between working time and productivity – Intensity of labour’
by Alexis Ioannides & Stavros Mavroudeas,
Influential economists like Marx, Jevons, Chapman and Robbins argued that working time and labour intensity – productivity are strongly correlated. Nevertheless, the quantitative relationship between these two magnitudes has never been estimated. This article makes a step towards estimating this relationship. It proposes a new theoretical formulation, following the ideas of influential economists. It utilizes for the first time data from ergonometric experiments to estimate the material basis of this relationship. The estimated relationship between working time and maximum intensity for manual labour is mainly based upon the physical limitations of human body. The findings confirm the thesis of a strong negative correlation that can lead to output maximization following a working time reduction. They can also be used to explain the long term decreasing trend of working time that seems to reach an end in our days.