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The Increase in Leisure Inequality

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  • Mark Aguiar
  • Erik Hurst

Abstract

This paper examines the changing allocation of time within the United States that has occurred between 1965 and 2003-2005. We find that the time individuals have allocated to leisure has increased in the U.S. for both men and women during this period, with almost the entire gain occurring prior to 1985. We also find that post 1985 there has been a substantial increase in leisure inequality, particularly for men. Over the last 20 years, less educated men increased the time they allocated to leisure while more educated men recorded a decrease in leisure time. While the relative decline in the employment rate of less educated men is important, trends in employment status explain less than half of the increase in the leisure gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2008. "The Increase in Leisure Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13837
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin Murphy & Robert Topel, 2002. "Current Unemployment, Historically Contemplated," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 79-136.
    2. 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.
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    4. 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.
    5. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
    6. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2004. "Consumption vs. Expenditure," NBER Working Papers 10307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    8. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Stephen Donald, 2007. "The Time and Timing Costs of Market Work," NBER Working Papers 13127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
    10. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jungmin Lee, 2007. "Stressed Out on Four Continents: Time Crunch or Yuppie Kvetch?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 374-383, May.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Burden of Leisure
      by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-12-19 21:00:09

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schwartz, J., 2015. "Optimal unemployment insurance: When search takes effort and money," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-17.
    2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Happiness Inequality in the United States," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 33-79, June.
    3. John Mullahy & Stephanie A. Robert, 2008. "No Time to Lose? Time Constraints and Physical Activity," NBER Working Papers 14513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jason R. Williams & Yuta J. Masuda & Heather Tallis, 2016. "A Measure Whose Time has Come: Formalizing Time Poverty," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 265-283, August.
    5. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2009. "A Summary of Trends in American Time Allocation: 1965–2005," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 57-64, August.
    6. Pope, Clayne, 2009. "Measuring the distribution of material well-being: U.S. trends," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 66-78, January.
    7. Monika Engler & Stefan Staubli, 2008. "The Distribution of Leisure Time Across Countries and Over Time," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-14, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    8. John Mullahy & Stephanie Robert, 2010. "No time to lose: time constraints and physical activity in the production of health," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 409-432, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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