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The Distribution of Leisure Time Across Countries and Over Time

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  • Monika Engler

    ()

  • Stefan Staubli

    ()

Abstract

In this paper, we use time-use surveys to examine trends in the allocation of time in five industrialized countries over the last thirty years. Adjusting for changing demographics, we find that leisure time across countries has converged over this period. Specifically, leisure time has declined five to eight hours in countries with high leisure levels thirty years ago and has increased around one hour in the other countries. For men the reduction in leisure was driven by an increase in nonmarket work, while women dramatically increased time allocated to market work and decreased nonmarket work time. Lastly, we show that like in the USA leisure inequality increased in all countries of our sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Monika Engler & Stefan Staubli, 2008. "The Distribution of Leisure Time Across Countries and Over Time," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-14, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2008:2008-14
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2008/DP-14-En.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2008. "The Increase in Leisure Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gershuny, Jonathan, 2000. "Changing Times: Work and Leisure in Postindustrial Society," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287872.
    3. Burda, Michael C. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Weil, Philippe, 2006. "The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US," IZA Discussion Papers 2270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. 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.
    5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    7. Kimberly Fisher & Muriel Egerton & Jonathan Gershuny & John Robinson, 2007. "Gender Convergence in the American Heritage Time use Study (AHTUS)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 1-33, May.
    8. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    9. Mahmud Rice, James & Goodin, Robert E. & Parpo, Antti, 2006. "The Temporal Welfare State: A Crossnational Comparison," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(03), pages 195-228, December.
    10. Sullivan, Oriel & Gershuny, Jonathan, 2001. "Cross-national changes in time-use: some sociological (hi)stories re-examined," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-01, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time Use; Leisure Inequality; Cross-Country Comparison; MTUS;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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