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The Distribution of Leisure Time Across Countries and Over Time

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  • Monika Engler

    ()

  • Stefan Staubli

    ()

Abstract

In this paper, we use time-use surveys to examine trends in the allocation of time in five industrialized countries over the last thirty years. Adjusting for changing demographics, we find that leisure time across countries has converged over this period. Specifically, leisure time has declined five to eight hours in countries with high leisure levels thirty years ago and has increased around one hour in the other countries. For men the reduction in leisure was driven by an increase in nonmarket work, while women dramatically increased time allocated to market work and decreased nonmarket work time. Lastly, we show that like in the USA leisure inequality increased in all countries of our sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 with number 2008-14.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2008:2008-14

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Keywords: Time Use; Leisure Inequality; Cross-Country Comparison; MTUS;

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References

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  1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gershuny, Jonathan, 2000. "Changing Times: Work and Leisure in Postindustrial Society," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287872, Octomber.
  3. James Mahmud Rice & Robert E. Goodin & Antti Parpo, 2006. "The Temporal Welfare State: A Cross-national Comparison," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_449, Levy Economics Institute.
  4. repec:ese:iserwp:2001-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  6. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades," Working Papers 06-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Burda, Michael C. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Weil, Philippe, 2006. "The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US," IZA Discussion Papers 2270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2008. "The Increase in Leisure Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Kimberly Fisher & Muriel Egerton & Jonathan Gershuny & John Robinson, 2007. "Gender Convergence in the American Heritage Time use Study (AHTUS)," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 1-33, May.
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