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Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades,” NBER Working Paper No

By Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst

Abstract

In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time within the United States. We find that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, using a variety of definitions for leisure, we show that leisure for men increased by roughly six to nine hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by roughly four to eight hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). 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. I

Year: 2013
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