Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades
Mark Aguiar and
Erik Hurst ()
No 12082, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
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.
JEL-codes: D12 D13 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
Note: EFG LS
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (32) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Aguiar, Mark and Erik Hurst. “Measuring Leisure: The Allocation of Time over Five Decades.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 122, 3 (August 2007): 969-1006.
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades (2007)
Working Paper: Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades (2006)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12082
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by ().