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

  • Pierre Brochu

    ()

  • Catherine Armstrong

    ()

  • Louis-Philippe Morin

    ()

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

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00181-011-0508-6
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Empirical Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 891-913

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Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:43:y:2012:i:2:p:891-913
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  1. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2006. "Deaths rise in good economic times: Evidence from the OECD," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 298-316, December.
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  6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "A Healthy Economy Can Break Your Heart," NBER Working Papers 12102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Reuben Gronau & R. Layard, . "Home Production - A Survey," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-2, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ruhm, Christopher J. & Black, William E., 2002. "Does drinking really decrease in bad times?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 659-678, July.
  11. Juster, F. Thomas & Stafford, Frank P., 1990. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioural Models, and Problems of Measurement," Working Paper Series 258, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  12. Philip Oreopoulos & Till von Wachter & Andrew Heisz, 2006. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession: Hysteresis and Heterogeneity in the Market for College Graduates," NBER Working Papers 12159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1990. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 922-43, October.
  14. Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens & Mateusz Filipski, 2009. "Why Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 122-27, May.
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