What Are We Not Doing When We're Online
AbstractThe Internet has radically transformed the way we live our lives. The net changes in consumer surplus and economic activity, however, are difficult to measure because some online activities, such as obtaining news, are new ways of doing old activities while new activities, like social media, have an opportunity cost in terms of activities crowded out. This paper uses data from the American Time Use Survey from 2003 – 2011 to estimate the crowdout effects of leisure time spent online. That data show that time spent online and the share of the population engaged in online activities has been increasing steadily. I find that, on the margin, each minute of online leisure time is correlated with 0.29 fewer minutes on all other types of leisure, with about half of that coming from time spent watching TV and video, 0.05 minutes from (offline) socializing, 0.04 minutes from relaxing and thinking, and the balance from time spent at parties, attending cultural events, and listening to the radio. Each minute of online leisure is also correlated with 0.27 fewer minutes working, 0.12 fewer minutes sleeping, 0.10 fewer minutes in travel time, 0.07 fewer minutes in household activities, and 0.06 fewer minutes in educational activities.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19549.
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Scott Wallsten. "What Are We Not Doing When We're Online?," in Shane Greenstein, Avi Goldfarb, and Catherine Tucker, editors, "Economics of Digitization" University of Chicago Press (2014)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
- L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-ICT-2013-10-25 (Information & Communication Technologies)
- NEP-SOC-2013-10-25 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- How the Internet is changing our daily lives
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-11-20 15:23:00
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.