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Health status and the allocation of time


  • Melinda Podor
  • Timothy J. Halliday


In this paper, we quantify the effects of health on time allocation. We estimate that improvements in health status have large and positive effects on time allocated to home and market production and large negative effects on time spent watching TV, sleeping, and consuming other types of leisure. We find that poor health status results in about 300 additional hours allocated to unproductive activities per year. Plausible estimates of the cost of this lost time exceed $10,000. We also find that, for men, better health induces a substitution of market-produced goods for home-produced goods. Particularly, each additional minute spent in home production saves $0.37.
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Suggested Citation

  • Melinda Podor & Timothy J. Halliday, 2012. "Health status and the allocation of time," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 514-527, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:21:y:2012:i:5:p:514-527

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2004. "What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    2. Deaton, Angus, 1995. "Data and econometric tools for development analysis," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 1785-1882 Elsevier.
    3. Diba, Behzad T. & Grossman, Herschel I., 1988. "Rational inflationary bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 35-46, January.
    4. Stephen Wu, 2003. "The Effects of Health Events on the Economic Status of Married Couples," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
    5. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
    6. Halliday, Timothy J., 2007. "Income Volatility and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 3234, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
    8. Gronau, Reuben, 1980. "Home Production-A Forgotten Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 408-416, August.
    9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    10. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, Jose Alberto, 2015. "Health status and the allocation of time: Cross-country evidence from Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 188-203.
    2. J. Gimenez-Nadal & Jose Molina, 2016. "Health inequality and the uses of time for workers in Europe: policy implications," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    3. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Franz G. Westermaier & Brant Morefield, 2016. "Parental health and child behavior: evidence from parental health shocks," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 577-598, September.
    4. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9378-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hielke Buddelmeyer & Daniel S. Hamermesh & Mark Wooden, 2015. "The Stress Cost of Children," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2015n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. Torben M. Andersen & Marias H. Gestsson, 2010. "Longevity, Growth and Intergenerational Equity - The Deterministic Case," Economics wp52, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    7. Xiang Wei & Hailin Qu & Emily Ma, 2016. "How Does Leisure Time Affect Production Efficiency? Evidence from China, Japan, and the US," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 101-122, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor


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