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Keeping in touch – A benefit of public holidays using time use diary data

  • Joachim Merz


    (Department of Economic, Law and Behavioural Social Sciences Leuphana University Lüneburg Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe, FFB))

  • Lars Osberg


    (Department of Economics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada)

This paper argues that public holidays facilitate the co-ordination of leisure time but do not constrain the annual amount of leisure. Public holidays therefore have benefits both in the utility of leisure on holidays and (by enabling people to maintain social contacts more easily) in increasing the utility of leisure on normal weekdays and weekends. The paper uses the variation in public holidays across German Länder based on more than 37.000 individual diary data of the actual German Time Use Survey of 2001-02 to illustrate the positive association between more public holidays and social life on normal weekdays and weekends. These benefits are additional to the other, direct benefits of public holidays.

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Article provided by Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR) in its journal electronic International Journal of Time Use Research.

Volume (Year): 6 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 130-166

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Handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2009:vol6:issue1:p130-166
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  1. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "When We Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 321-25, May.
  2. Joachim Merz & Paul Böhm & Derik Burgert, 2005. "Timing, Fragmentation of Work and Income Inequality - An Earnings Treatment Effects Approach," FFB-Discussionpaper 48, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2003-19 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Lars Osberg, 2003. "Understanding Growth and Inequality Trends: The Role of Labour Supply in the US and Germany," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(s1), pages 163-184, January.
  5. Corneo, Giacomo, 2005. "Work and television," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 99-113, March.
  6. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & Kooreman, Peter, 2005. "Timing constraints and the allocation of time: The effects of changing shopping hours regulations in The Netherlands," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 9-27, January.
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2002. "Timing, togetherness and time windfalls," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 601-623.
  8. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  9. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  10. Skuterud, Mikal, 2005. "The impact of Sunday shopping on employment and hours of work in the retail industry: Evidence from Canada," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1953-1978, November.
  11. Hallberg, Daniel, 2002. "Synchronous Leisure, Jointness and Household Labor Supply," Working Paper Series 2002:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  12. Joachim Merz & Lars Osberg, 2006. "Keeping in Touch – A Benefit of Public Holidays," FFB-Discussionpaper 57, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  13. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1251-88 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  15. Stephen P. Jenkins & Lars Osberg, 2003. "Nobody to Play with?: The Implications of Leisure Coordination," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 368, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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