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An examination of the characteristics and time use of those who have unfilled spare time

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  • Dr. Jennifer Baxter

    () (Australian Institute of Family Studies)

Abstract

While the often-heard complaint about time today is that of having too much to do and too little time, there are those who experience the opposite: they have difficulty filling the spare time that they have. This spare time can for some include times perceived to be empty of satisfying activity, and instead be associated with feelings of dissatisfaction, with frustration and boredom, and with time being spent in unproductive or even unhealthy pursuits. This paper uses the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1997 and 2006 Time Use Surveys to examine the characteristics and time use patterns associated with reporting to frequently have spare time that is difficult to fill. These analyses take a life cycle perspective to determine which men and women are at greatest risk of having this experience of time. These findings indicate that while a minority of people experience unfilled spare time, it is more common among the youngest men and women, especially those living with their parents, as well as men living alone, men and women with limited commitments to paid work or to caring, and those with a health problem and with a non-English-language background. Examining the reasons given for having unfilled spare time, lack of money is the main reason given, however other reasons also apply, and reasons differ for particular groups of people. Ill health, transport, having no friends or family nearby and lack of community facilities are some of those reasons. These data were also related to the patterns of time use to better understand the implications of having unfilled spare time for individuals' wellbeing.

Suggested Citation

  • Dr. Jennifer Baxter, 2011. "An examination of the characteristics and time use of those who have unfilled spare time," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 8(1), pages 30-61, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2011:vol8:issue1:p30-61
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    File URL: http://www.eijtur.org/pdf/volumes/eIJTUR-8-1-2_Jennifer_Baxter.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas Masterson, 2011. "Quality of Match for Statistical Matches Used in the Development of the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP) for Argentina, Chile, and Mexico," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_692, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Valeria Esquivel & Debbie Budlender & Nancy Folbre & Indira Hirway, 2008. "Explorations: Time-use surveys in the south," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 107-152.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marit Rebane, 2015. "Double advantage or disadvantage? - Parental education and children's developmental stages in Italy," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 12(1), pages 49-72, December.
    2. Martin Brosnan & David M. Levinson, 2015. "Automobile accessibility and the allocation of time 1990-2010," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 12(1), pages 115-132, December.
    3. Tamar Khitarishvili & Kijong Kim, 2015. "The great recession and unpaid work time in the United States - Does poverty matter?," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 12(1), pages 19-48, December.
    4. Timo Toivonen, 2015. "Spousal influence in time use - On book reading, highbrow culture attendance and computer use," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 12(1), pages 1-18, December.
    5. Satu Ojala & Pasi Pyöriä, 2015. "Working around the clock? - The time and location of paid work in Finland 1979-2010," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 12(1), pages 73-96, December.
    6. John P. Robinson & Elena Tracy & Yoonjoo Lee, 2015. "Cruising through the millennium - 2003-13 changes in American Daily life," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 12(1), pages 133-152, December.
    7. Jens Bonke, 2015. "Love and retirement - Older couples' leisure time before and after retirement," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 12(1), pages 97-114, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Leisure time; spare time; time use; diaries; life cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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