51 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2012
Date Written: March 15, 2012
Do Americans spend more time watching TV and shopping than do Britons? If so, then where does the additional time come from? In this study, we present evidence that aggregate time-use comparisons are potentially misleading, because they ignore differences in sample and population composition that directly affect how people plan their daily lives. These aggregate comparisons are also potentially misleading because they do not take into account the highly censored and sparse nature of time-use data as well as the fact that we all work on the same budget of 1440 minutes each day. For these reasons, we propose a framework for time-use analysis that provides insights into how demography and geography affect the value people assign to time spent on the various activities of daily life, while taking into account the unique features of time-use data. We use this framework to compare how Americans and Britons differ in their time-use, after accounting for other demographic and geographic factors affecting the value of time.
Keywords: Time use, Budget allocation
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