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Regional unemployment, gender, and time allocation of the unemployed

This paper analyzes the relationship between time allocation decisions of the unemployed, gender, and regional unemployment rates. Using two cross-sections from the 2002–2003 and 2009–2010 Spanish Time Use Surveys, we find that higher regional unemployment rates are associated with increases in the time devoted to study by men. Regional unemployment rates are also associated with more time devoted to household production, particularly for unemployed men and women living in a couple, and to less time devoted to leisure, particularly for unemployed men with a working partner and unemployed women not living in a couple. We interpret our findings as evidence favoring consumption smoothing. Higher regional unemployment rates imply a lower availability of jobs for the unemployed, it reduces individual expectations of finding a job, and thus households may try to increase their time spent on household production to reduce market expenditures and thus maintain their consumption constant. Increases in the time devoted to household production during business cycles need to be considered in the analysis of the wellbeing of the unemployed. Consumption smoothing may imply increased wellbeing, but more time devoted to household production is associated with lower experienced utility of individuals throughout the day. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 12 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 105-127

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:12:y:2014:i:1:p:105-127
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