2017-02Thematic Section
The Value of Time: Its Commodification and a Reconceptualization


The discourse about commodification of time indicates that under the current socio-economic regime important values get systematically ignored. This paper reviews literature about the value of time in classical political economy, neoclassical economics, the household production approach, household economics, and activity models. Starting with neoclassical economics, all these approaches are largely in accordance with utilitarian methodology. Utilitarian methodology turns out to be incapable of explaining the value of time. The debate about “quality work” allows us to identify the following intrinsic values: power, playfulness, a sense of meaning, and a sense of belonging. These intrinsic values match with the “five sources of motivation” in contemporary psychological research, which confirms the empirical relevance and irreducibility of these values for understanding behaviour. We propose a definition of commodification of time and illustrate some of the potential effects of commodification of time.


economic methodology, theory of value, motivation, restlessness, identity, playfulness, power

How to cite:

Fellner, Wolfgang J. “The Value of Time: Its Commodification and a Reconceptualization.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 1, no. 2 (2017): 37–53. https://doi.org/10.26319/2914.


Wolfgang J. Fellner
Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business
Gebäude D4, 3. Stock, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Wien, Austria


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