Monday, September 22, 2008

Can't Get No Leisure

Kooreman and Kapteyn (1987) note that time not spent on market
work has traditionally been disaggregated into two distinct categories: time spent on housework and leisure. This is the context which makes the findings in Ramey and Francis ("A Century of Work and Leisure", forthcoming) so interesting. Ramey and Francis develop comprehensive measures of time spent in market work, home production, schooling, and leisure in the U.S. for the last 106 years. They find that "hours of work for prime age individuals are essentially unchanged, but that per capita leisure and average annual lifetime leisure increased by only four or five hours per week during the last 100 years."

Professor Valerie Ramey
(University of California, San Diego) investigates long-run trends in American time use in a number of papers and makes all the data that she uses available on her website.

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