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Time-Use and Subjective Well-Being: Is Diversity Really the Spice of Life?

Naomi Friedman-Sokuler and Claudia Senik ()
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Claudia Senik: Paris School of Economics

No 16090, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Using the American and the French time-use surveys, we examine whether people have a preference for a more diversified mix of activities, in the sense that they experience greater well-being when their time schedule contains many different activities rather than is concentrated on a very small number. This could be due to decreasing marginal utility, as is assumed for goods consumption, if each episode of time is conceived as yielding a certain level of utility per se. With returns to specialization, people would then face a trade-off between efficiency and diversity in choosing how to allocate time. We examine these issues and investigate potential gender differences, considering both instantaneous feelings and life satisfaction.

Keywords: time allocation; time-use diversity; subjective well-being; life satisfaction; momentary utility; gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2023-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-lma, nep-ltv and nep-upt
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Published - published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2024, 51 (1), 1-34.

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