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The ‘Trendiness’ of Sleep: An Empirical Investigation into the Cyclical Nature of Sleep Time

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Author Info

  • Pierre Brochu

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, OntarioCatherine Deri Armstrong)

  • Catherine Deri Armstrong

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario)

  • Louis-Philippe Morin

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario)

Abstract

Using Canadian time use data, we exploit exogenous variation in local unemployment rates to investigate the cyclical nature of sleep time and show that for both men and women, sleep time decreases when the economy is doing relatively better. Our results suggest that in a recession Canadians sleep an average of 2 hours and 34 minutes more per week, or 22 minutes more per day. Given the importance of even small changes in sleep time on measures of cognitive functioning such as reaction time and concentration, our findings may help explain the countercyclical nature of mortality. Further, as we find that sleep is affected by the same economic variables (notably the unemployment rate) that affect market work time, our results also contribute to the limited literature that shows that sleep time should not be treated as exogenously determined, but, like any other resource, determined by its relative cost.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0909E.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:0909e

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Keywords: Business Cycles; Sleep.;

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References

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  1. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1989. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 2988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "A Healthy Economy Can Break Your Heart," NBER Working Papers 12102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  6. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2002. "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD," IZA Discussion Papers 654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens & Mateusz Filipski, 2009. "Why Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 122-27, May.
  8. Reuben Gronau & R. Layard, . "Home Production - A Survey," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-2, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  9. Shelley Phipps & Peter Burton & Lynn Lethbridge, 2001. "In and out of the labour market: long-term income consequences of child-related interruptions to women's paid work," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 411-429, May.
  10. Lisa A. Kramer & Mark J. Kamstra & Maurice D. Levi, 2000. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1005-1011, September.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  12. Szalontai, Gabor, 2006. "The demand for sleep: A South African study," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 854-874, September.
  13. Christopher J. Ruhm & William E. Black, 2001. "Does Drinking Really Decrease in Bad Times?," NBER Working Papers 8511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Oreopoulos, Philip & Wachter, Till von & Heisz, Andrew, 2008. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession: Hysteresis and Heterogeneity in the Market for College Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 3578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Miscellaneous
    by Martin Ryan in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-01-27 16:20:00
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Cited by:
  1. Ariizumi, Hideki & Schirle, Tammy, 2012. "Are recessions really good for your health? Evidence from Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1224-1231.
  2. Gibson, Matthew & Shrader, Jeffrey, 2014. "Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8zp518hc, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.

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