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The ‘trendiness’ of sleep: an empirical investigation into the cyclical nature of sleep time

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  • Pierre Brochu

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  • Catherine Armstrong

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  • Louis-Philippe Morin

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Abstract

Using Canadian time use data, we exploit variation in local unemployment rates to investigate the cyclical nature of sleep time and show that for both men and women, sleep time decreases when the economy is doing relatively better. Our results suggest that in a recession Canadians sleep an average of 3 h more per week, or 26 min more per day. Given the importance of even small changes in sleep time on measures of cognitive functioning such as reaction time and concentration, our findings may help explain the countercyclical nature of mortality. Further, as we find that sleep is affected by the same economic variables (notably the unemployment rate) that affect market work time, our results also contribute to the limited literature that shows that sleep time should not be treated as exogenously determined, but, like any other resource, determined by its relative cost. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Brochu & Catherine Armstrong & Louis-Philippe Morin, 2012. "The ‘trendiness’ of sleep: an empirical investigation into the cyclical nature of sleep time," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 891-913, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:43:y:2012:i:2:p:891-913
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-011-0508-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gibson, Matthew & Shrader, Jeffrey, 2014. "Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8zp518hc, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    2. Joan Costa-Font & Sarah Flèche, 2017. "Parental Sleep and Employment: Evidence from a British Cohort Study," CEP Discussion Papers dp1467, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Sedigh, Golnaz & Devlin, Rose Anne & Grenier, Gilles & Deri Armstrong, Catherine, 2017. "Revisiting the relationship between wages and sleep duration: The role of insomnia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 125-139.
    4. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2016. "If You Don't Snooze You Lose: Evidence on Health and Weight," IZA Discussion Papers 9773, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Christian Pfeifer, 2015. "Unfair Wage Perceptions and Sleep: Evidence from German Survey Data," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 789, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Masakure, Oliver, 2016. "The effect of employee loyalty on wages," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 274-298.
    7. Bishop, James, 2015. "No Rest for the Weary: Commuting, Hours Worked, and Sleep," MPRA Paper 62162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Ariizumi, Hideki & Schirle, Tammy, 2012. "Are recessions really good for your health? Evidence from Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1224-1231.
    9. Vicky Barham & Hana Bataineh & Rose Anne Devlin, 2017. "Unmet Health Care and Health Care Utilization," Working Papers 1716E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    10. Jin, L. & Ziebarth, N.R., 2015. "Sleep and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    11. Oliver Masakure & Kris Gerhardt, 2016. "Employee Commitment and Wages in the Private Sector," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 30(1), pages 38-60, March.
    12. Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir & Sigurður Páll Ólafsson & Gylfi Zoega, 2016. "Sleep and the management of alertness," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 15(2), pages 169-189, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles; Sleep; Time allocation; I12; J22;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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