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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. Blau, David M, 1998. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Married Couples," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 595-629, July.
  2. Thomas, D., 1995. "Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter, Parental Resources and Child Height," Papers 95-01, RAND - Reprint Series.
  3. 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, vol. 27(1), pages 112-133.
  4. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  5. Kostiuk, Peter F, 1990. "Compensating Differentials for Shift Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1054-75, October.
  6. Falkinger, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 1994. "Retirement of Spouses and Social Security Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 855, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  8. Jacob Mincer, 1962. "Labor Force Participation of Married Women: A Study of Labor Supply," NBER Chapters, in: Aspects of Labor Economics, pages 63-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
  10. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-35, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Chris van Klaveren & Henriette Maassen van den Brink, 2005. "Intra-household Work Time Synchronization," Labor and Demography 0504005, EconWPA.
  2. 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, vol. 9(4), pages 465-486, December.
  3. 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 1213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. van Klaveren, Chris & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2006. "Empirical Estimation Results of a Collective Household Time Allocation Model," IZA Discussion Papers 2107, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. José Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina & Raquel Ortega, 2010. "Unemployment and Time Use: Evidence from the Spanish Time Use Survey," Documentos de Trabajo dt2010-02, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
  6. Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 1998. "The Determinants of Specialization Within Marriage," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0048, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  7. 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 2004-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  8. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005096 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Connelly, Rachel & Kimmel, Jean, 2007. "Spousal Influences on Parents' Non-Market Time Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011065 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005095 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Hallberg, Daniel, 2002. "Synchronous Leisure, Jointness and Household Labor Supply," Working Paper Series 2002:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  14. Chris van Klaveren & Henri�tte Maassen van den Brink, 2005. "Intra-household Work Time Synchronization: Togetherness or Material Benefits?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-095/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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