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Aggregate Impacts of a Gift of Time

  • Jungmin Lee
  • Daiji Kawaguchi
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

How would people spend additional time if confronted by permanent declines in market work? We examine the impacts of cuts in legislated standard hours that raised employers' overtime costs in Japan around 1990 and Korea in the early 2000s. Using time-diaries from before and after these shocks, we show that these shocks were effective--per-capita hours of market work declined discretely. The economy-wide drops in market work were reallocated solely to leisure and personal maintenance. In the absence of changing household technology a permanent time gift leads to no increase in time spent in household production by the average individual.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17649.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Jungmin Lee & Daiji Kawaguchi & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2012. "Aggregate Impacts of a Gift of Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 612-16, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17649
Note: LS
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  1. KAWAGUCHI Daiji & NAITO Hisahiro & YOKOYAMA Izumi, 2008. "Labor Market Responses to Legal Work Hour Reduction: Evidence from Japan," ESRI Discussion paper series 202, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. Greenwood,J. & Seshadri,A. & Yorukoglu,M., 2002. "Engines of liberation," Working papers 1, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. 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.
  4. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2011. "Worktime Regulations and Spousal Labour Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 5639, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Jungmin Lee & Daiji Kawaguchi & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2011. "Aggregate Impacts of a Gift of Time," NBER Working Papers 17649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2002. "Timing, togetherness and time windfalls," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 601-623.
  7. 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.
  8. Kuroda, Sachiko, 2010. "Do Japanese Work Shorter Hours than before? Measuring trends in market work and leisure using 1976-2006 Japanese time-use survey," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 481-502, December.
  9. Huberman, Michael & Minns, Chris, 2007. "The times they are not changin': Days and hours of work in Old and New Worlds, 1870-2000," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 538-567, October.
  10. repec:bla:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:1:p:109-133 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
  12. Mark A. Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Time Use During Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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