IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedbwp/06-2.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Aguiar
  • Erik Hurst

Abstract

In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time. We document that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked (per working-age adult) between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, we document that leisure for men increased by 6-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by 4-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). This increase in leisure corresponds to roughly an additional 5 to 10 weeks of vacation per year, assuming a 40-hour work week. We also find that leisure increased during the last 40 years for a number of sub-samples of the population, with less-educated adults experiencing the largest increases. Lastly, we document a growing ?inequality? in leisure that is the mirror image of the growing inequality of wages and expenditures, making welfare calculation based solely on the latter series incomplete.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades," Working Papers 06-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:06-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2006/wp0602.htm
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2006/wp0602.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, 2009. "Trends in hours: The U.S. from 1900 to 1950," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 237-249, January.
    3. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-1187, December.
    4. Valerie A. Ramey & Neville Francis, 2009. "A Century of Work and Leisure," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 189-224, July.
    5. Rupert, Peter & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 2000. "Homework in labor economics: Household production and intertemporal substitution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 557-579, December.
    6. Schettkat, Ronald, 2002. "Differences in US-German time-allocation: Why do Americans work longer hours than Germans?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment FS I 02-212, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    7. Dora L. Costa, 1997. "Less of a Luxury: The Rise of Recreation since 1888," NBER Working Papers 6054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Dirk Kreuger & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory," Working Papers 02-15, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. Richard Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2002. "Marketization of Production and the US-Europe Employment Gap," CEP Discussion Papers dp0559, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. John Knowles, 2005. "Why are Married Men Working So Much?," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    11. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 183-207, March.
    12. Kooreman, Peter & Kapteyn, Arie, 1987. "A Disaggregated Analysis of the Allocation of Time within the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 223-249, April.
    13. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-1262, December.
    14. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    15. Gronau, Reuben, 1977. "Leisure, Home Production, and Work-The Theory of the Allocation of Time Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1099-1123, December.
    16. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ghez75-1, December.
    17. Peter Gottschalk & Susan E. Mayer, 1997. "Changes in Home Production and Trends in Economic Inequality," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 382, Boston College Department of Economics.
    18. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    19. Rupert, Peter & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Estimating Substitution Elasticities in Household Production Models," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 6(1), pages 179-193, June.
    20. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    21. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    22. Jacob Mincer, 1962. "Labor Force Participation of Married Women: A Study of Labor Supply," NBER Chapters, in: Aspects of Labor Economics, pages 63-105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "A Model of the Trends in Hours," IEPR Working Papers 05.40, Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR).
    24. Dora L. Costa, 1999. "American Living Standards: Evidence from Recreational Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 7148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
    26. Karen A. Kopecky, 2011. "The Trend In Retirement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 287-316, May.
    27. Jordi Gali, 2005. "Trends in hours, balanced growth, and the role of technology in the business cycle," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 87(Jul), pages 459-486.
    28. Jeremy Greenwood & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "Hours Worked (Long-Run Trends)," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 10, Economie d'Avant Garde.
    29. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2004. "Consumption vs. Expenditure," NBER Working Papers 10307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. 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 922-943, October.
    31. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 72-97, January.
    32. Joseph G. Altonji & Emiko Usui, 2007. "Work Hours, Wages, and Vacation Leave," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(3), pages 408-428, April.
    33. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Goods Over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle, pages 46-82, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Pollak, Robert A & Wachter, Michael L, 1975. "The Relevance of the Household Production Function and Its Implications for the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 255-277, April.
    35. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2005. "Why Not Retire? The Time and Timing Costs of Market Work," Working Papers wp104, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    36. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
    37. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Time Over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle, pages 83-132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Gimenez-Nadal, Jose Ignacio & Sevilla, Almudena, 2012. "Trends in time allocation: A cross-country analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1338-1359.
    3. Gelber, Alexander M. & Mitchell, Joshua W., 2009. "Taxes and Time Allocation: Evidence from Single Women," MPRA Paper 19148, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Ken Yamada, 2010. "Intertemporal Substitution in the Time Allocation of Married Women," Working Papers 27-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    5. Valerie A. Ramey & Neville Francis, 2009. "A Century of Work and Leisure," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 189-224, July.
    6. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
    7. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2005. "Lifestyle prices and production," Public Policy Discussion Paper 05-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    8. 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.
    9. Boerma, Job & Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2020. "Labor market trends and the changing value of time," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    10. Jim Been & Susann Rohwedder & Michael Hurd, 2020. "Does Home Production Replace Consumption Spending? Evidence from Shocks in Housing Wealth in the Great Recession," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 113-128, March.
    11. Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, 2009. "Trends in hours: The U.S. from 1900 to 1950," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 237-249, January.
    12. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2009. "Retirement in a Life Cycle Model of Labor Supply with Home Production," Working Papers wp205, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    13. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2006. "From Individual To Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based On A Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, February.
    14. Mark A. Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Time Use During Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2008. "The Increase in Leisure Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Yoo-Mi Chin, 2008. "A household production model of demand for childcare and meals: theory and evidence from the Philippines," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 47-64, March.
    17. Aguiar, M. & Hurst, E., 2016. "The Macroeconomics of Time Allocation," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 203-253, Elsevier.
    18. Almudena Sevilla & Jose Gimenez-Nadal & Jonathan Gershuny, 2012. "Leisure Inequality in the United States: 1965–2003," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 939-964, August.
    19. Xu, Yan, 2017. "Essays on preference formation and home production," Other publications TiSEM b028fd7e-53ba-4ff6-97eb-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    20. William Bednar & Nick Pretnar, 2019. "Home Production with Time to Consume," 2019 Meeting Papers 328, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Leisure; Hours of labor;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:06-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbbous.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Spozio (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbbous.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.