Who works more? China or Europe?

I had an interesting conversation with Chinese sales person yesterday. We spoke about work conditions and compared Europe and China.

Let’s call him Li. Li told me that he works every day from 9:00 AM till 19:00 PM including weekends. He has 1 day of holiday plus 11 days of public holiday per year. In total he works 353 days per year, 9 hours daily which gives total of 3177 hours per year.

In Europe people usually work only 7 hours (France) or 8 hours (Slovakia), weekends are free and there is at least 10 days of public holiday per year which gives about 262 work days which is 1834 (France) or 2096 (Slovakia) hours per year.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers compared China and Europe in terms of agriculture few hundred years ago (rice vs. grain). In southern China people used to work on their small rice fields every day and they had yield 2 or 3 times per year. Chinese people were owners of these small rice fields and they were responsible for their own life. If they did not work they had no food. They paid tax to the governor but most of their yield stayed with them.

In Europe people used to work during the summer on big fields owned by landlords. They had less motivation and there was no connection between work and reward, the yield belonged to the landlord.

Rice field

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