Chris Blattman

How hard do US, Chinese and German academics work?

In a recent study, a team of scientists in China examined the time of day when paper downloads occur from a scientific publisher’s website. Controlling for the time zone where the request originated, they were able to see how hard scientists work overall by examining the downloads for a period of a little over a week. But even more than that, they explored the patterns in their work habits, as well differences between scientists in different countries.

The upshot is that scientists work late at night and on weekends. We have a clear difficulty distinguishing different parts of our lives. But it’s more interesting than that. Chinese and American scientists have somewhat different patterns of workaholism. American scientists work late at night, but still recognize that weekend as a time of rest (at least a little). Chinese scientists, on the other hand, don’t work late at night, but work almost as hard on the weekends as on the weekdays. And Germany is somewhere in between:


Not wholly compelling, but cute. I am slightly less impressed with our workload when I notice that downloads do not begin until 11am in the US…

Source. Hat tip to Suresh Naidu.

51 Responses

  1. How I Got My Loan Today!!! Hello everyone, I am Janet Williams by name, am writing this Testimony because am really grateful for what CREDIT CENTER FINANCIAL SERVICES did for me and my family, when I thought there was no hope he came and make my family feel alive again by lending us loan at a very low interest rate of 3%. Well I have been searching for a loan to settle my debts for the past three months all I met was scammed and took my money until I finally met a God sent Lender. I never thought that there are still genuine loan lenders on the internet but to my greatest surprise i got my loan without wasting much time so if you are out there looking for a loan of any amount i would advise you to email the legit loan company via email: {} and be free of internet scams. thanks…

  2. Yes, the U.S. peak is later in the day than Germany or China, but compare 2:00-7:00am. I guess this demonstrates what a lot of us probably already knew: U.S. scholars don’t necessarily work on the 9-5 (or 9-7, or 9-10).

  3. It’s a fact those self motivated people when engrossed in certain topics or task, days of week, timezone nothing matters. When link is on time is not important till the brain retires and say stop.

Comments are closed.

Why We Fight - Book Cover
Subscribe to Blog