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Togetherness: Spouses' Synchronous Leisure, and the Impact of Children

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  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

This study goes beyond the immense literature on the quantity of labor that households supply to examine the timing of their labor/leisure choices. Using two-year panels from the United States in the 1970s it demonstrates that couples prefer to consume leisure simultaneously: Synchronization is greater than random male-female pairing would predict. In the 1970s the demand for joint leisure among working couples was more responsive to increases in wives' earnings than to husbands', but by the 1990s the responses were identical. Couples react to changes in constraints on them by altering their schedules to preserve joint leisure, and those with higher full incomes consume more of their leisure jointly. Children reduce the jointness of spouses' leisure, with the greatest change in schedules occurring among new mothers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7455.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as "Timing, Togetherness and Time Windfalls" Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Journal of Population Economics, November 2002, v. 15, iss. 4, pp. 601-23
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7455

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  1. Kostiuk, Peter F, 1990. "Compensating Differentials for Shift Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1054-75, October.
  2. Blau, David M, 1998. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Married Couples," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 595-629, July.
  3. Hilary Hoynes, 1993. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation Under AFDC-UP," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 4407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-35, May.
  5. Jacob Mincer, 1962. "Labor Force Participation of Married Women: A Study of Labor Supply," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Aspects of Labor Economics, pages 63-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  7. Zweimuller, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Falkinger, Josef, 1996. "Retirement of spouses and social security reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 449-472, February.
  8. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  9. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  10. Arleen Leibowitz & Jacob Alex Klerman & Linda J. Waite, 1992. "Employment of New Mothers and Child Care Choice: Differences by Children's Age," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 112-133.
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Cited by:
  1. Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 1998. "The Determinants of Specialization Within Marriage," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington, Department of Economics at the University of Washington 0048, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  2. Chris van Klaveren & Bernard M.S. van Praag & Henri�tte Maassen van den Brink, 2005. "Empirical Estimation Results of a Collective Household Time Allocation Model," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers, Tinbergen Institute 05-096/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 06 Apr 2006.
  3. Bryan, Mark L. & Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena, 2008. "Does housework lower wages and why? Evidence for Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-03, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Hallberg, Daniel, 2003. "Synchronous leisure, jointness and household labor supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 185-203, April.
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011065 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Connelly, Rachel & Kimmel, Jean, 2007. "Spousal Influences on Parents' Non-Market Time Choices," IZA Discussion Papers, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 2894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Chris van Klaveren & Henri�tte Maassen van den Brink, 2005. "Intra-household Work Time Synchronization: Togetherness or Material Benefits?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers, Tinbergen Institute 05-095/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. C. Barnet-Verzat & A. Pailhé & A. Solaz, 2011. "Spending time together: the impact of children on couples’ leisure synchronization," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 465-486, December.
  9. Van Klaveren, Chris & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette & Van Praag, Bernard, 2006. "The influence of work time adjustment on joint activities and the demand for child care," MPRA Paper, University Library of Munich, Germany 1213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. José Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina & Raquel Ortega, 2010. "Unemployment and Time Use: Evidence from the Spanish Time Use Survey," Documentos de Trabajo, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza dt2010-02, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
  11. Chris Klaveren & Henriette Brink, 2007. "Intra-household work time synchronization," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 39-52, October.
  12. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005095 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Nancy Folbre & Jayoung Yoon & Kade Finnoff & Allison Sidle Fuligni, 2004. "By What Measure? Family Time Devoted to Children in the U.S," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics 2004-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  14. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005096 is not listed on IDEAS

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