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

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  • Heckman, James J.

    (University of Chicago)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Heckman, James J., 2014. "Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker," IZA Discussion Papers 8424, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8424
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Cherchye, Laurens & De Rock, Bram & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2015. "A simple identification strategy for Gary Becker’s time allocation model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 187-190.
    3. 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," POID Working Papers 028, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    11. Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez & Caroline Elliott & Robert Simmons, 2016. "Substitution between leisure activities: a quasi-natural experiment using sports viewing and cinema attendance," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(40), pages 3848-3860, August.
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    13. 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.
    14. 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.
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    16. Nazier, Hanan & Ezzat, Asmaa, 2022. "Gender differences and time allocation: A comparative analysis of Egypt and Tunisia," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 174-193.
    17. María Florencia Correa Deza & Beatriz Alvarez & María Agostina Zulli, 2021. "El rol de las actitudes hacia el género en la asignación del tiempo dedicado al trabajo doméstico y de cuidados no remunerado. Resultados de un relevamiento del uso del tiempo durante la pandemia en T," Asociación Argentina de Economía Política: Working Papers 4457, Asociación Argentina de Economía Política.
    18. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2024. "The Incubator of Human Capital: The NBER and the Rise of the Human Capital Paradigm," NBER Chapters, in: The Economic History of American Inequality: New Evidence and Perspectives, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. 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.
    20. 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).
    21. Sanchis, Raúl G., 2023. "Towards a general equilibrium theory of allocation of time for the digital revolution era," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    empirical economics; economics of the family; household production;
    All these keywords.

    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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