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Leisure Behavior of Young People: Education-Oriented Activities Becoming Increasingly Prevalent


  • Adrian Hille
  • Annegret Arnold
  • Jürgen Schupp


Young people's leisure activities are significantly different today than they were ten years ago. The obvious use of communication and entertainment electronics, such as cell phones, computers, and games consoles is only one aspect - there are also less visible changes: informal activities such as meeting with friends are being increasingly sidelined by education-oriented activities like extra-curricular music lessons or sports. These are the findings of a study conducted by DIW Berlin based on longitudinal data from the statistically representative Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). It shows that education-oriented leisure activities feature in the lives of over 60 percent of all 16-year-olds. Ten years ago, this only applied to 48 percent of all young people of this age. The demand for education- oriented activities has increased across all social classes. Nevertheless, clearly identifiable social differences still remain. Young people from socially underprivileged households are therefore at a double disadvantage, since less favorable conditions at home are compounded in school and during leisure time. Policy-makers have already recognized the need to act here and are attempting to reduce persisting inequalities in leisure activities, for example, by expanding all-day schooling and promoting education-oriented leisure activities specifically for children from low-income families.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Hille & Annegret Arnold & Jürgen Schupp, 2014. "Leisure Behavior of Young People: Education-Oriented Activities Becoming Increasingly Prevalent," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 4(1), pages 26-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwdeb:2014-1-4

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    Cited by:

    1. Charlotte Cabane & Adrian Hille & Michael Lechner, 2015. "Mozart or Pelé? The Effects of Teenagers' Participation in Music and Sports," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 749, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Adrian Hille, 2015. "How a Universal Music Education Program Affects Time Use, Behavior, and School Attitude," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 810, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Cabane, Charlotte & Hille, Adrian & Lechner, Michael, 2016. "Mozart or Pelé? The effects of adolescents' participation in music and sports," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 90-103.

    More about this item


    Youth; time use; SOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature


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