Toward a Framework for Time Use, Welfare, and Household Centric Economic Measurement

26 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2019 Last revised: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by Diane Coyle

Diane Coyle

Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Leonard Nakamura

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Date Written: 2019-02-12

Abstract

What is meant by economic progress, and how should it be measured? The conventional answer is growth in real GDP over time or compared across countries, a monetary measure adjusted for the general rate of increase in prices. However, there is increasing interest in developing an alternative understanding of economic progress, particularly in the context of digitalization of the economy and the consequent significant changes Internet use is bringing about in production and household activity. This paper discusses one alternative approach, combining an extended utility framework considering time allocation over paid work, household work, leisure, and consumption with measures of objective or subjective well-being while engaging in different activities. Developing this wider economic welfare measure would require the collection of time use statistics as well as well-being data and direct survey evidence, such as the willingness to pay for leisure time. We advocate an experimental set of time and well-being accounts, with a particular focus on the digitally driven shifts in behavior.

Keywords: Internet, time use, measurement, welfare, household

JEL Classification: D11, D60, I31

Suggested Citation

Coyle, Diane and Nakamura, Leonard, Toward a Framework for Time Use, Welfare, and Household Centric Economic Measurement (2019-02-12). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 19-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3333602 or http://dx.doi.org/10.21799/frbp.wp.2019.11

Diane Coyle (Contact Author)

Bennett Institute for Public Policy ( email )

Alison Richard Building
7 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DT
Great Britain

Leonard Nakamura

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

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