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Routine

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9440.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9440.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Publication status: published as "Routine" Hamermesh, Daniel S.; European Economic Review, January 2005, v. 49, iss. 1, pp. 29-53
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9440
Note: LS
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  1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "Changing Inequality In Markets For Workplace Amenities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1085-1123, November.
  2. Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Demand for Variety: A Household Production Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
  4. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1999. "The Timing of Work over Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 37-66, January.
  5. Weiss, Yoram, 1996. "Synchronization of Work Schedules," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 157-79, February.
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2002. "Timing, togetherness and time windfalls," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 601-623.
  7. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
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