IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmac/v1y2009i2p189-224.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Century of Work and Leisure

Author

Listed:
  • Valerie A. Ramey
  • Neville Francis

Abstract

We develop comprehensive measures of time spent in market work, home production, schooling, and leisure in the United States for the last 106 years. We find that hours of work for prime age individuals are essentially unchanged, with the rise in women's hours fully compensating for the decline in men's hours. Hours worked by those 14 to 24 years old have declined noticeably, but most of this decline was offset by a rise in hours spent in school. Overall, per capita leisure and average annual lifetime leisure increased by only four or five hours per week during the last 100 years. (JEL D13, J16, J22)

Suggested Citation

  • Valerie A. Ramey & Neville Francis, 2009. "A Century of Work and Leisure," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 189-224, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:189-224
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.1.2.189
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.1.2.189
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/data/2007-0035_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 28(Jul), pages 2-13.
    3. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2006. "The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis Using Long-Run Restrictions," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 17-73, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi, 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time over the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1188-1214, December.
    5. Philip Babcock & Mindy Marks, 2011. "The Falling Time Cost of College: Evidence from Half a Century of Time Use Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 468-478, May.
    6. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2008. "Trends in Hours and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 239-256, April.
    7. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1990. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 922-943, October.
    8. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    9. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-1187, December.
    10. Jeremy Greenwood & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "Hours Worked: Long-Run Trends," NBER Working Papers 11629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Costa, Dora L, 2000. "The Wage and the Length of the Work Day: From the 1890s to 1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 156-181, January.
    12. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
    13. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "Human Capital and Social Capital: The Rise of Secondary Schooling in America, 1910 to 1940," NBER Working Papers 6439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Kristin M. Roberts & Peter Rupert, 1995. "The myth of the overworked American," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jan.
    15. Lomborg,Bjørn, 2001. "The Skeptical Environmentalist," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521010689, May.
    16. John W. Kendrick, 1973. "Postwar Productivity Trends in the United States, 1948–1969," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend73-1, May.
    17. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    18. Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Human capital formation and business cycle persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-92, June.
    19. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, May.
    20. Claudia Goldin, 1999. "A Brief History of Education in the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. 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.
    22. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1993. "Working in the Market, Working at Home, and the Acquisition of Skills: A General-Equilibrium Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 893-907, September.
    23. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2001. "The U.S. Structural Transformation and Regional Convergence: A Reinterpretation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 584-616, June.
    24. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Boragan Aruoba & Morris Davis & Randall Wright, 2016. "Homework in Monetary Economics: Inflation, Home Production, and the Production of Homes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 105-124, July.
    2. Benjamin Bridgman, 2016. "Engines of Leisure," BEA Working Papers 0137, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    3. Duernecker, Georg & Herrendorf, Berthold, 2018. "On the allocation of time – A quantitative analysis of the roles of taxes and productivities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 169-187.
    4. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1789-1891, Elsevier.
    5. Bridgman, Benjamin & Duernecker, Georg & Herrendorf, Berthold, 2018. "Structural transformation, marketization, and household production around the world," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 102-126.
    6. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
    7. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. Alexander M. Gelber & Joshua W. Mitchell, 2009. "Taxes and Time Allocation: Evidence from Single Women," NBER Working Papers 15583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Barañano Mentxaka, Ilaski & Moral Zuazo, María Paz, 2007. "Consumption-Leisure Trade-offs and Persistency in Business Cycles," BILTOKI 2007-05, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Economía Aplicada III (Econometría y Estadística).
    10. Bednar, William & Pretnar, Nick, 2020. "Home Production with Time to Consume," MPRA Paper 103730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Henry E. Siu, 2000. "Growth and business cycles," Staff Report 271, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    12. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2008. "Trends in Hours and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 239-256, April.
    13. Herrendorf, Berthold & Rogerson, Richard & Valentinyi, Ákos, 2014. "Growth and Structural Transformation," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 855-941, Elsevier.
    14. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2010. "The Galor–Weil gender-gap model revisited: from home to market," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 323-351, December.
    15. Edgar Cruz & Xavier Raurich, 2020. "Leisure time and the sectoral composition of employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 198-219, October.
    16. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schrder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2009. "Nonmarket Household Time and the Cost of Children," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 42-51.
    17. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2009. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 231-276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Family Economics Writ Large," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1346-1434, December.
    19. L. Rachel Ngai & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-44, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. A Century of Work and Leisure (AEJ:MA 2009) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:189-224. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.