Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades

61 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2006

See all articles by Mark Aguiar

Mark Aguiar

Princeton University

Erik Hurst

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time. We document 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 document 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. 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 Classification: D12, D13, J22

Suggested Citation

Aguiar, Mark and Hurst, Erik, Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades (January 2006). FRB Boston Working Paper No. 06-2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=887526 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.887526

Mark Aguiar (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Erik Hurst

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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