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Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades

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  • Mark Aguiar
  • Erik Hurst

Abstract

In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time within the United States. We find that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, using a variety of definitions for leisure, we show that leisure for men increased by roughly six to nine hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by roughly four to eight hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). Lastly, we document a growing inequality in leisure that is the mirror image of the growing inequality of wages and expenditures, making welfare calculation based solely on the latter series incomplete.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:3:p:969-1006.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.122.3.969
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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