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A Century of Work and Leisure

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  • Valerie Ramey

    ()

  • Neville Francis

    ()

Abstract

Has leisure increased over the last century? Standard measures of hours worked suggest that it has. In this paper, we develop a comprehensive measure of non-leisure hours that includes market work, home production, commuting and schooling for the last 105 years. We also present empirical and theoretical arguments for a definition of “per capita” that encompasses the entire population. The new measures reveal a number of interesting 20th Century trends. First, 70 percent of the decline in hours worked has been offset by an increase in hours spent in school. Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, average hours spent in home production are actually slightly higher now than they were in the early part of the 20th Century. Finally, leisure per capita is approximately the same now as it was in 1900 [NBER WP No. 12264].

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:546.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:546

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Keywords: leisure; work and leisure; home production; market work; commuting; schooling;

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References

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  8. Siu, Henry, 2006. "The fiscal role of conscription in the US World War II effort," Economics working papers siu-06-04-26-12-42-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Apr 2006.
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  16. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2004. "The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis using Long-Run Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 10631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Human capital formation and business cycle persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-92, June.
  18. John W. Kendrick, 1973. "Postwar Productivity Trends in the United States, 1948-1969," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend73-1.
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