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Less of a Luxury: The Rise of Recreation since 1888

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  • Dora L. Costa

Abstract

I show that recreation has become much more egalitarian over the last hundred years by estimating recreational expenditure elasticities in 1888-1890, 1917-1919, 1935-1936, 1972-1973, and 1991. I find that expenditure elasticities have fallen from around two at the beginning of the century to slightly more than one today and attribute this decline to rising incomes, declines in the price of recreation, and investment in public recreational goods. My findings have implications for trends in the well-being of the poor relative to the rich and for long-term trends" in work hours and labor force participation rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Dora L. Costa, 1997. "Less of a Luxury: The Rise of Recreation since 1888," NBER Working Papers 6054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6054 Note: DAE LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jerry A. Hausman, 1996. "Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 207-248 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. J. A. Hausman & W. K. Newey & J. L. Powel, 1988. "Nonlinear Errors in Variables: Estimation of Some Engel Curves," Working papers 504, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1333-1381.
    4. Hausman, J. A. & Newey, W. K. & Powell, J. L., 1995. "Nonlinear errors in variables Estimation of some Engel curves," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 205-233, January.
    5. Michael Abbott & Orley Ashenfelter, 1976. "Labour Supply, Commodity Demand and the Allocation of Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(3), pages 389-411.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Miles & Andrés Pereyra & Máximo Rossi, 2002. "The consistent estimation of income elasticity of environmental amenities in Uruguay," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 17(1), pages 67-89.
    2. Young, Andrew T. & Higgins, Matthew J. & Levy, Daniel, 2013. "Heterogeneous convergence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 238-241.
    3. 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.
    4. Máximo Rossi & Patricia Triunfo, 2004. "Gastar en Cuidados Médicos: ¿Es un Lujo para los Montevideanos?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0604, Department of Economics - dECON.
    5. Fleischer, Aliza & Rivlin, Judith, 2006. "Quality, Quantity And Time Issues In Demand For Vacations," Discussion Papers 7173, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    6. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    7. Costa, Dora L, 2000. "The Wage and the Length of the Work Day: From the 1890s to 1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 156-181, January.
    8. Jeremy Greenwood & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "Hours Worked (Long-Run Trends)," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 10, Economie d'Avant Garde.
    9. Bruce W Hamilton, 1998. "The True Cost of Living: 1974 - 1991," Economics Working Paper Archive 395, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    10. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2003. "Growth and Convergence across the U.S.: Evidence from County-level Data," Emory Economics 0306, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    11. canegrati, emanuele, 2006. "The Single-Mindedness Theory: Micro-foundation and Applications to Social Security Systems," MPRA Paper 1223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Andrés Pereyra & Máximo Rossi, 1998. "Los bienes ambientales, ¿constituyen un bien de lujo?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1398, Department of Economics - dECON.
    13. Costa, Dora L, 1998. "The Unequal Work Day: A Long-Term View," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 330-334, May.
    14. Tarek Ghalwash, 2008. "Demand for Environmental Quality: An Empirical Analysis of Consumer Behavior in Sweden," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 71-87.
    15. Brandon Dupont & Alka Gandhi & Thomas J. Weiss, 2008. "The American Invasion of Europe: The Long Term Rise in Overseas Travel, 1820-2000," NBER Working Papers 13977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Ragchaasuren Galindev, 2011. "Leisure goods, education attainment and fertility choice," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 157-181, June.
    17. Leonard I. Nakamura, 2001. "Education and training in an era of creative destruction," Working Papers 00-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    18. Vincent G. Fitzsimons, 2011. "The Impact of New Technology on Leisure Networks," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Leisure, chapter 22 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Daniel Miles & Andrés Pereyra & Máximo Rossi, 2000. "Income Elasticity of Environmental Amenities," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0200, Department of Economics - dECON.
    20. Gilboa, Itzhak & Postlewaite, Andrew & Samuelson, Larry, 2016. "Memorable consumption," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 414-455.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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