Time to Eat: Household Production Under Increasing Income Inequality
Eating requires the food materials that make up meals and also time devoted to buying food, preparing meals and eating them, and cleaning up afterwards. Using time-diary and expenditure data for the U.S. for 1985 and 2003, I examine how income and time prices affect time and goods input into this household-produced commodity. Focusing on these two years, between which income and earnings inequality increased, allows examining how household production is affected by changing economic opportunities. The results demonstrate that both inputs into eating increase with income, and that higher time prices at a given level of income reduce time inputs. Over this period the goods intensity of producing this commodity increased, especially at the lower part of the income distribution, and the average time input dropped substantially. The results are consistent with goods-time substitution in eating being relatively difficult and with substitution becoming relatively more difficult as production expands. This is confirmed by direct estimates using matched time-use and food spending data on the same households for 2003 and 2004. The findings imply that projecting food expenditures alone overestimates the amount spent on food in a growing economy.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as American Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol. 89, no 4, November 2007, pp. 852-863 under the same title.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sébastien Lecocq, 2001. "The allocation of time and goods in household activities: A test of separability," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(4), pages 585-597.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," NBER Working Papers 3571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
- Susan Dynarski & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Can Families Smooth Variable Earnings?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 229-303.
- Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1984.
"Consumption during Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-7, February.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1982. "Consumption During Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S176-S215, June.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005.
"Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices,"
NBER Working Papers
11628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2096, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1989.
"Sleep and the Allocation of Time,"
NBER Working Papers
2988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1994.
"Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey,"
NBER Working Papers
4795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-57, December.
- Thomas F. Crossley & Yuqian Lu, 2004. "Exploring the Returns-to-Scale in Food Preparation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-06, McMaster University.
- Gottschalk, Peter & Smeeding, Timothy M., 2000. "Empirical evidence on income inequality in industrialized countries," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 261-307 Elsevier.
- Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2004. "Consumption vs. Expenditure," NBER Working Papers 10307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J, 1979.
"Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
- Robert A. Pollak, 2005. "Bargaining Power in Marriage: Earnings, Wage Rates and Household Production," NBER Working Papers 11239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Biddle, Jeff E & Zarkin, Gary A, 1989. "Choice among Wage-Hours Packages: An Empirical Investigation of Male Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 415-37, October.
- Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.