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Routine

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  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

Routine - maintaining the same schedule from day to day - saves time. It is also boring and inherently undesirable. As such, the amount of routine a person engages in is partly an economic outcome, with variations in routine generated by variations in the price of time, household income and the ability to generate variety. Using time-budget data from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, I show that men engage in more routine behavior than women, but only because they spend more time in (routine) market work. Other things equal, more educated people engage in less routine behavior, while higher household incomes enable people to purchase more temporal variety. Spouses' temporal routines are highly complementary. The positive income effects and impacts of schooling indicate yet another avenue by which standard measures of inequality understate total economic inequality.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9440.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Publication status: published as "Routine" Hamermesh, Daniel S.; European Economic Review, January 2005, v. 49, iss. 1, pp. 29-53
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9440

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  1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Changing Inequality in Markets for Workplace Amenities," NBER Working Papers 6515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Weiss, Yoram, 1996. "Synchronization of Work Schedules," 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. 37(1), pages 157-79, February.
  3. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Gronau, Reuben, 2007. "The Demand for Variety: A Household Production Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 2767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1999. "The Timing of Work over Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 37-66, January.
  5. Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
  6. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2000. "Timing, Togetherness and Time Windfalls," IZA Discussion Papers 173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
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