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Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker

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  • James J. Heckman

Abstract

Gary Becker's classic study, A Theory of the Allocation of Time, laid the analytical foundations for the study of household production and the allocation of time within the household. The analytical framework of household production theory developed in this paper remained a pillar of his later work on the economics of the family and the economics of nonmarket activities more generally. Becker provided a formal model of households producing outputs like food, children, and housing that bundled goods and time. Becker's great contribution was to apply the model to interpret a broad array of empirical phenomena. Becker's framework allowed for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of consumer choice, and interpretation of income and substitution effects. Its continuing relevance in empirical economics is a testimony to its power.
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Suggested Citation

  • James J. Heckman, 2015. "Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(583), pages 403-409, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v::y:2015:i:583:p:403-409
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2015.125.issue-583
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Emran, Shahe & Shilpi, Forhad, 2018. "Agricultural Productivity, Hired Labor, Wages, and Poverty: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 470-482.
    4. Sara H. HOSNEY, 2016. "Factors Influencing Female Labor Force Participation in Egypt and Germany: A Comparative Study," Turkish Economic Review, KSP Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 537-541, September.
    5. Giulia Mancini, 2018. "Women's Labor Force Participation in Italy, 1861-2011," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 3-68.
    6. Yordanos Gebremeskel, 2015. "Job Creation and Employment-Gender-Gap among Micro and Small Enterprises," Business and Management Research, Business and Management Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 4(2), pages 1-12, June.
    7. Rinshu Dwivedi & Jalandhar Pradhan & Ramesh Athe, 2021. "Measuring catastrophe in paying for healthcare: A comparative methodological approach by using National Sample Survey, India," International Journal of Health Planning and Management, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 1887-1915, September.
    8. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2020. "The Incubator of Human Capital: The NBER and the Rise of the Human Capital Paradigm," NBER Working Papers 26909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Andrew L. Kun & Raffaella Sadun & Orit Shaer & Thomaz Teodorovicz, 2022. "Multitasking while driving: a time use study of commuting knowledge workers to access current and future uses," CEP Discussion Papers dp1841, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Partha Pratim DUBE, 2020. "Least Possible Time to Reach Targeted Profit Function under Unitary Transformation," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 50(1(59)), pages 05-15, June.
    11. Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, 2017. "A cohort perspective of the effect of unemployment on fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 1211-1239, October.
    12. S Subramanian, 2018. "Participation of rural households in farm, non-farm and pluri-activity: Evidences from India," Working Papers 412, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    13. Levin, Simon, 2021. "Mathematical Ecology, Evolution and the Social Sciences," Ecology, Economy and Society - the INSEE Journal, Indian Society of Ecological Economics (INSEE), vol. 4(01), January.
    14. Andrew L. Kun & Raffaella Sadun & Orit Shaer & Thomaz Teodorovicz, 2022. "How does working from home during Covid-19 affect what managers do? Evidence from time-use studies," CEP Discussion Papers dp1844, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. Sara Hassan Hosney, 2016. "Factors Influencing Female Labor Force Participation in Egypt and Germany: A Comparative Study," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 826, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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    1. Labor Economics (ECON 431-531)

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