Conference Paper

Measuring trends in leisure


Abstract: In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time. We find that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked (per working-age adult) between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, we show that leisure for men increased by 6-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by 4-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). This increase in leisure corresponds to roughly an additional 5 to 10 weeks of vacation per year, assuming a 40-hour work week. Alternatively, the ?consumption equivalent? of the increase in leisure is valued at 8 to 9 percent of total 2003 U.S. consumption expenditures. We also find that leisure increased during the last 40 years for a number of sub-samples of the population, with less educated adults experiencing the largest increases. Lastly, we document a growing ?inequality? in leisure that is the mirror image of the growing inequality of wages and expenditures, making welfare calculation based solely on the latter series incomplete.

Keywords: Leisure; Hours of labor;

Status: Published in Labor markets and the macroeconomy : a conference (2006: March 3-4)

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Authors

    Aguiar, Mark

    Hurst, Erik

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Part of Series: Proceedings

Publication Date: 2006