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How Video Games Shrink the Workforce

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New Research from Princeton and the University of Chicago provides fresh perspective on the painful problems of young men between the ages of 21 and 30 with less than a four-year college degree.

A full 22 percent of them did no work at all during the past twelve months—double the percentage who failed to work in the year 2000. So how do they spend their time? Researchers calculate that these lost guys spend 75 percent of the time they would otherwise spend working, sitting at their computers, most of it playing video games.

The economists conclude: “Increasingly sophisticated video games are luring young men away from the workforce.” This also makes them more likely to live at home, supported by parents, and leaves them much less likely to establish long-term romantic relationships and future families. In other words, more self-control regarding video games can help avoid disaster for individuals and for the American economy.

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