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Togetherness: Spouses' Synchronous Leisure, and the Impact of Children

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  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

This study goes beyond the immense literature on the quantity of labor that households supply to examine the timing of their labor/leisure choices. Using two-year panels from the United States in the 1970s it demonstrates that couples prefer to consume leisure simultaneously: Synchronization is greater than random male-female pairing would predict. In the 1970s the demand for joint leisure among working couples was more responsive to increases in wives' earnings than to husbands', but by the 1990s the responses were identical. Couples react to changes in constraints on them by altering their schedules to preserve joint leisure, and those with higher full incomes consume more of their leisure jointly. Children reduce the jointness of spouses' leisure, with the greatest change in schedules occurring among new mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2000. "Togetherness: Spouses' Synchronous Leisure, and the Impact of Children," NBER Working Papers 7455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7455
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    1. Blau, David M, 1998. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Married Couples," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 595-629, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9389-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. José Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina & Raquel Ortega, 2010. "Unemployment and Time Use: Evidence from the Spanish Time Use Survey," Documentos de Trabajo dt2010-02, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
    3. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Does Housework Lower Wages and Why? Evidence for Britain," Economics Series Working Papers 331, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 1998. "The Determinants of Specialization Within Marriage," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0048, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    5. Elisabetta Lazzaro & Carlofilippo Frateschi, 2017. "Couples’ arts participation: assessing individual and joint time use," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 41(1), pages 47-69, February.
    6. Hallberg, Daniel, 2003. "Synchronous leisure, jointness and household labor supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 185-203, April.
    7. C. Barnet-Verzat & A. Pailhé & A. Solaz, 2011. "Spending time together: the impact of children on couples’ leisure synchronization," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 465-486, December.
    8. Chris van Klaveren & Bernard M.S. van Praag & Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink, 2005. "Empirical Estimation Results of a Collective Household Time Allocation Model," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-096/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 06 Apr 2006.
    9. Connie Bayudan-Dacuycuy & Lawrence Dacuycuy, 2017. "Analyzing housework through family and gender perspectives," Working Papers id:12082, eSocialSciences.
    10. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9365-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:spr:soinre:v:135:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1469-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Van Klaveren, C & Maassen van den Brink, H. & Van Praag, B., 2009. "Intra-Household Work Timing: The Effect on Joint Activities and the Demand for Child Care," Working Papers 27, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
    13. Van Klaveren, Chris & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette & Van Praag, Bernard, 2006. "The influence of work time adjustment on joint activities and the demand for child care," MPRA Paper 1213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Nancy Folbre & Jayoung Yoon & Kade Finnoff & Allison Sidle Fuligni, 2004. "By What Measure? Family Time Devoted to Children in the U.S," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    15. Rachel Connelly & Jean Kimmel, 2009. "Spousal influences on parents’ non-market time choices," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 361-394, December.
    16. Chris Klaveren & Henriette Brink, 2007. "Intra-household work time synchronization," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 39-52, October.
    17. Dacuycuy, Connie B., 2016. "Wages, Housework, and Attitudes in the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 2016-36, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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