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Timing, Togetherness and Time Windfalls


  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

    () (Barnard College)


By examples this study illustrates that with the right data the analysis of time use, labor supply and leisure can and should move beyond the standard questions of the wage and income elasticities of hours supplied to the market. Four examples are presented here: 1) A model of the implicit market for working at different times of the day. Using American data from 1973 through 1997 I show that, following the prediction of the model, the amount of evening and night work in the U.S. has decreased; 2) Using the same model, the prediction that groups whose relative earnings have increased will experience a relative diminution of the burden of working at unpleasant times is verified using the same American data; 3) To study spouses' consumption of leisure one must study its temporal distribution, not how it is integrated over some long interval. Using U.S. data for the 1970s and 1990s I demonstrate that spouses' work schedules are more contemporaneous than would occur randomly, that contemporaneity among working spouses has diminished, and that, whereas in the 1970s the full-income elasticity of demand for contemporaneity was higher among wives than among husbands, by the 1990s these elasticities were equal; and 4) Using Dutch time-budget data for 1990 I examine how households respond to the natural experiment of receiving an extra hour of time in a day (the day when winter time was reestablished). The evidence shows that the overwhelming majority of the extra hour was used for extra sleep, except among single men, who used much of the extra time to play sports and watch television.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2000. "Timing, Togetherness and Time Windfalls," IZA Discussion Papers 173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp173

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
    2. Card, D. & Michalopoulos, C. & Robins, P.K., 2001. "Measuring Wage Growth Among Former Welfare Recipients," Papers 2001-5, Gouvernement du Canada - Human Resources Development.
    3. Rebecca M. Blank & David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1999. "Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low-Income Families," JCPR Working Papers 69, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    4. repec:mpr:mprres:2635 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Card & Philip K. Robins & Winston Lin, 1998. "Would Financial Incentives for Leaving Welfare Lead Some People to Stay on Welfare Longer? An Experimental Evaluation of 'Entry Effects' in the SSP," NBER Working Papers 6449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins & David Card, 2000. "When Financial Incentives Pay for Themselves: Early Findings from the Self-Sufficiency Project's Applicant Study," JCPR Working Papers 133, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    7. Philip K. Robins, 1985. "A Comparison of the Labor Supply Findings from the Four Negative Income Tax Experiments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 567-582.
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    More about this item


    time use; work amenities; leisure;

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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