, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 939–964 | Cite as

Leisure Inequality in the United States: 1965–2003

  • Almudena SevillaEmail author
  • Jose I. Gimenez-Nadal
  • Jonathan Gershuny


This article exploits the complex sequential structure of the diary data in the American Heritage Time Use Study (AHTUS) and constructs three classes of indicators that capture the quality of leisure (pure leisure, co-present leisure, and leisure fragmentation) to show that the relative growth in leisure time enjoyed by low-educated individuals documented in previous studies has been accompanied by a relative decrease in the quality of that leisure time. These results are not driven by any single leisure activity, such as time spent watching television. Our findings may offer a more comprehensive picture of inequality in the United States and provide a basis for weighing the relative decline in earnings and consumption for the less-educated against the simultaneous relative growth of leisure.


Happiness Inequality Income Consumption Time use 



Conclusions in this research are those drawn by the authors and may not reflect the views of the creators or funders of AHTUS or the collectors of the original surveys harmonized in this data set. We are grateful for the financial support provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (Grant Number RES-060-25-0037) and the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (Project ECO2008-01297), and for helpful comments from three anonymous referees.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Almudena Sevilla
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jose I. Gimenez-Nadal
    • 2
  • Jonathan Gershuny
    • 3
  1. 1.Queen Mary University of London, Department of Business and ManagementLondonUK
  2. 2.Economic Analysis DepartmentUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and Center for Time Use ResearchUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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