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The Elasticity Of Substitution Between Time And Market Goods: Evidence From The Great Recession

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  • Aviv Nevo
  • Arlene Wong

Abstract

We document a change in household shopping behavior during the Great Recession. Households purchased more on sale, larger sizes, and generic products and increased coupon usage and shopping at discount stores. We estimate a decline in returns to shopping during the recession. Therefore, the increase in shopping behavior implies a significant decrease in households' opportunity cost of time. Using the estimated cost of time and time use data, we estimate a high elasticity of substitution between market expenditure and time spent on nonmarket work. We find that households smooth a sizable fraction of consumption by varying their time allocation during recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Aviv Nevo & Arlene Wong, 2019. "The Elasticity Of Substitution Between Time And Market Goods: Evidence From The Great Recession," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(1), pages 25-51, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:60:y:2019:i:1:p:25-51
    DOI: 10.1111/iere.12343
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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