Less of a Luxury: The Rise of Recreation since 1888
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.
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94-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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