For as long as anyone can remember, economies have generally performed well without a marketplace specifically designated for time. However, time value sometimes needs its own internal price mechanism - particularly for services formation - when long term growth falters. It is impossible to gauge the full extent, of what is increasingly a missing services marketplace. Individuals continue to commit to time investment in human capital, but with questionable reward. And for the first time since the Great Depression, some policy makers are becoming convinced that the future will not have the same growth momentum as before.
After the onset of the Great Depression, near-zero interest rates lasted from 1932 to 1951, before the economy experienced full recovery in the U.S. Only consider the vast degree of structural shifts which took place during that lengthy period, before populations fully regained confidence in economic stability. Given the fact nations were not always able or willing to meet deep rooted structural challenges, war was also the result. What was different regarding earlier utilization of time aggregates and labor force participation, before the world wars and tumultuous transitions of the Great Depression years?
Before the Great Depression, time value often had a "price", in terms of local and/or familial coordination. Individuals were able to manage time through more direct means for resource use, particularly for agricultural and small business pursuits. As the marketplace gradually transitioned to more centralized forms of business endeavor, populations came to rely on time coordination and resource sets which were externally generated and managed. However, as these forms of (what became) traditional production began to (once again) shift in an eastward trajectory, populations struggled to maintain these now exogenous structures of services and production coordination.
It's not always easy for those who rely on primary equilibrium for multiple time coordination needs, to imagine how some income levels struggle with time management difficulties. Many communities are no longer geared (or sometimes never were) for the complex services coordination which societies have come to expect. This leaves entire regions in positions of supply side dependency - which in the U.S. did not appear so problematic until recently.
Plus, prosperous regions which include a full range of service capacity, are the areas which tend to post "no vacancy" signs for would be producers and consumers. For those who seek access to more prosperous regions of the U.S., price signals and regulations limit both interstate and local mobility, whereas political signals do the same for immigration.
Understandably, high skill service providers prefer to cluster in regions where they have the greatest potential to be rewarded. Even so, this is part of a pattern which continues to broaden the divisions between rich and poor, and knowledge use in general. While some can occasionally travel for needed services, regular access to prosperous regions for ongoing knowledge use needs is another matter. Is it possible for knowledge use to grow in the areas where it is needed most?
Yes, but with a caveat. Knowledge use complexity for services and production in primary equilibrium, relies on a wide diversity of income formation - which isn't always possible to generate in lower population densities. Even though vertical structures for income formation are facts of life in cities, services organization needs horizontal structure as well, in order to spread knowledge use complexity. In other words, time value needs to be coordinated with the option of equal compensation, so that knowledge use diversity can continue to spread through monetary means in multiple areas.
Indeed, if it weren't for density issues which inhibit services formation where it is needed most, the case for time arbitrage might not be so imperative. Just the same, knowledge use systems would provide more personal freedom at the individual level. What's more, the spread of a broader services marketplace would renew hope on the part of many, for full participation in the economy. Personal investment for the enrichment of human capital, would finally serve the purpose which has been promised for so long.