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The Elasticity of Substitution Between Time and Market Goods: Evidence from the Great Recession

Listed author(s):
  • Aviv Nevo
  • Arlene Wong

We document a change in household shopping behavior during the Great Recession. Households purchased more on sale, larger sizes and generic products, increased coupon usage, and shopping at discount stores. We estimate that the returns to these shopping activities declined during the recession and therefore this behavior implies a significant decrease in households’ opportunity cost of time. Using the estimated cost of time and time use data, we estimate a high elasticity of substitution between market expenditure and time spent on non-market work. We find that households smooth a sizable fraction of consumption by varying their time allocation during recessions.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21318.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 21318.

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Date of creation: Jul 2015
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21318
Note: EFG IO ME
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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi, 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time over the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1188-1214, December.
  2. Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio, 2015. "The Morphology Of Price Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 1165-1206, November.
  3. Martin Beraja & Erik Hurst & Juan Ospina, 2016. "The Aggregate Implications of Regional Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 21956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Greg Kaplan, 2012. "Moving Back Home: Insurance against Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 446-512.
  5. Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio, 2016. "Shopping Externalities and Self-Fulfilling Unemployment Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 771-825.
  6. Johannes Stroebel & Joseph Vavra, 2014. "House Prices, Local Demand, and Retail Prices," NBER Working Papers 20710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:pri:cepsud:234kaplan is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Loukas Karabarbounis, 2012. "Home Production, Labor Wedges, and International Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2013. "Time Use during the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1664-1696, August.
  10. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gee Hee Hong, 2015. "The Cyclicality of Sales, Regular and Effective Prices: Business Cycle and Policy Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 993-1029, March.
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