Routine - maintaining the same schedule from day to day - saves time. It is also boring and inherently undesirable. As such, the amount of routine a person engages in is partly an economic outcome, with variations in routine generated by variations in the price of time, household income and the ability to generate variety. Using time-budget data from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, I show that men engage in more routine behavior than women, but only because they spend more time in (routine) market work. Other things equal, more educated people engage in less routine behavior, while higher household incomes enable people to purchase more temporal variety. Spouses' temporal routines are highly complementary. The positive income effects and impacts of schooling indicate yet another avenue by which standard measures of inequality understate total economic inequality.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as "Routine" Hamermesh, Daniel S.; European Economic Review, January 2005, v. 49, iss. 1, pp. 29-53|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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NBER Working Papers
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- Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Gronau, Reuben, 2007. "The Demand for Variety: A Household Production Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 2767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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