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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
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    4. Burda, Michael C. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Weil, Philippe, 2006. "The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US," IZA Discussion Papers 2270, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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(3), pages 195-228, December.
    6. 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.
    7. 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;
    All these keywords.

    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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