Advertisement

Demography

, 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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Happiness Inequality Income Consumption Time use 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

References

  1. Aguiar, M., & Hurst, E. (2007). Measuring trends in leisure: The allocation of time over five decades. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122, 969–1006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Attanasio, O., & Davis, S. (1996). Relative wage movements and the distribution of consumption. Journal of Political Economy, 104, 1227–1262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berkman, L. F., & Glass, T. (2000). Social Integration, social networks, social support, and health. In L. F. Berkman & I. Kawachi (Eds.), Social epidemiology (pp. 137–173). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Berkman, L. F., Melchior, M., Chastang, J.-F., Niedhammer, I., Leclerc, A., & Goldberg, M. (2004). Social integration and mortality: A prospective study of French employees of Electricity of France–Gas of France. American Journal of Epidemiology, 159, 167–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Biddle, J., & Hamermesh, D. (1990). Sleep and the allocation of time. Journal of Political Economy, 98, 922–943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bittman, M., & Wajcman, J. (2000). The rush hour: The character of leisure time and gender equity. Social Forces, 79, 165–189.Google Scholar
  7. Blossfeld, H., & Timm, A. (Eds.). (2003). Who marries whom? Educational systems as marriage markets in modern societies. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  8. Burda, M. C., Hamermesh, D. S., & Weil, P. (2008). The distribution of total work in the EU and USA. In T. Boeri, M. C. Burdan, & F. Kramarz (Eds.), Working hours and job sharing in the EU and USA: Are Europeans lazy? Or Americans crazy? (pp. 13–91). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Costa, D. L. (2000). From mill town to board room: The rise of women’s paid labor. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14, 101–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  11. Eng, P. M., Rimm, E. B., Fitzmaurice, G., & Kawachi, I. (2002). Social ties and changes in social ties in relation to subsequent total and cause-specific mortality and coronary disease incidence in men. American Journal of Epidemiology, 155, 700–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Espe, H., & Seiwert, M. (1987). Television viewing types, general life satisfaction, and viewing amount: An empirical study in West Germany. European Journal of Communication, 13, 95–110.Google Scholar
  13. Fisher, K., Egerton, M., Gershuny, J., & Robinson, J. (2007). Gender convergence in the American Heritage Time Use Study (AHTUS). Social Indicators Research, 82, 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fisher, K., Altintas, E., & Gershuny, J. (2011). American historical time use surveys (AHTUS) Codebook. Oxford, UK: Centre for Time Use Research. Retrieved from http://www.timeuse.org/files/cckpub/819/ahtus-codebook-10oct2011.pdf
  15. Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2007). Does watching TV make us happy. Journal of Economic Psychology, 28, 283–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gershuny, J. (2009a). Veblen in reverse: Evidence from the multinational time-use archive. Social Indicators Research, 93, 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gershuny, J. (2009b). Activities, durations and the empirical estimation of utility (Sociology Working Papers No. 2009-07). Oxford, UK: University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  18. Gershuny, J., & Halpin, B. (1996). Time use, quality of life and process benefits. In A. Offer (Ed.), Pursuit of the quality of life (pp. 189–210). Oxford, UK: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  19. Ghez, G., & Becker, G. S. (1975). The allocation of time and goods over the life cycle. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Gimenez-Nadal, J. I., & Ortega-Lapiedra, R. (2010). Self-employment and time stress: The effect of leisure quality. Applied Economics Letters, 17, 1735–1739. doi: 10.1080/13504850903266791 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gimenez-Nadal, J. I., & Sevilla-Sanz. A. (2012). Trends in time allocation: A cross-country analysis. European Economic Review, forthcoming. doi: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.02.011
  22. Goldstein, J. (1999). The leveling of divorce in the United States. Demography, 36, 409–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hallberg, D. (2003). Synchronous leisure: Jointness and household labour supply. Labour Economics, 10, 185–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hamermesh, D. (1999). The timing of work over time. Economic Journal, 109, 37–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hamermesh, D. (2002). Timing, togetherness and time windfalls. Journal of Population Economics, 15, 601–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hamermesh, D., & Lee, J. (2007). Stressed out on four continents: Time crunch or yuppie kvetch. Review of Economics and Statistics, 89, 374–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hamermesh, D., Myers, C. K., & Pocock, M. L. (2008). Cues for timing and coordination: Latitude, Letterman, and longitude. Journal of Labor Economics, 26, 223–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hawrylyshyn, O. (1976). The value of household services: A survey of empirical results. Review of Income and Wealth, 22, 101–132.Google Scholar
  29. Hawrylyshyn, O. (1977). Toward a definition of non-market activities. Review of Income and Wealth, 23, 79–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Helliwell, J. F., & Putnam, R. D. (2005). The social context of well-being. In F. Huppert, N. Beylis, & B. Keverne (Eds.), The science of well-being (pp. 435–459). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. House, J. S., Landis, K. R., & Umberson, D. (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, 241, 540–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jenkins, S. P., & Osberg, L. (2005). Nobody to play with? The implications of leisure coordination. In D. Hamermesh & G. Pfann (Eds.), The economics of time use (pp. 113–145). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  33. Juster, T., & Stafford, F. (1985). Time, goods, and well-being. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  34. Kahneman, D., & Krueger, A. (2006). Developments in the measurement of subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20, 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kahneman, D., Krueger, A., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. (2004). A survey method for characterizing daily life experience: The day reconstruction method. Science, 3, 1776–1780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kasser, T. (2002). The high price of materialism. Cambridge, MA: MIT.Google Scholar
  37. Katz, L., & Autor, D. (1999). Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality. In O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (Eds.), Handbook of labor economics (Vol. 3A, pp. 1463–1555). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: North-Holland.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Knabe, A., Rätzel, S., Schöb, R., & Weimann, J. (2010). Dissatisfied with life, but having a good day: Time-use and well-being of the unemployed. Economic Journal, 120, 867–889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Krueger, A. (2007). Are we having more fun yet? Categorizing and evaluating changes in time allocation. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2, 193–217.Google Scholar
  40. Krueger, D., & Perri, F. (2006). Does income inequality lead to consumption inequality? Evidence and theory. Review of Economic Studies, 73, 163–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kubey, R., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Television and the quality of life: How viewing shapes everyday experience. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  42. Lam, D. (1988). Marriage markets and assortative mating with household public goods: Theoretical results and empirical implications. Journal of Human Resources, 23, 462–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mattingly, M. J., & Bianchi, M. S. (2003). Gender differences in the quantity and quality of free time: The U.S. experience. Social Forces, 81, 999–1030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mers, J., & Osberg, L. (2006). Keeping in touch: The benefit of public holidays (IZA Working Paper No. 2089). Bonn, Germany: Institute for the Study of Labor.Google Scholar
  45. Morgan, M. (1984). Heavy television viewing and perceived quality of life. Journalism Quarterly, 61, 499–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Putnam, R. (1995). Tuning in, tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America. Political Science and Politics, 28, 664–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  48. Rindfuss, R. R., Morgan, S. P., & Offutt, K. (1996). Education and the changing age pattern of American fertility: 1963–1989. Demography, 33, 277–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Robinson, J. (1993). As we like it. American Demographics, 15, 44–48.Google Scholar
  50. Robinson, J., & Godbey, G. (1997). Time for life: The surprising ways Americans use their time (2nd ed.). University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Schor, J. (1993). The overworked American: The unexpected decline of leisure. New York: Basic Books. Original work published 1992Google Scholar
  52. Shrum, L., Borroughs, J., & Rindfleisch, A. (2003, May). Does television promote materialism? Cultivating desire for the good life. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, San Diego.Google Scholar
  53. Singh-Manoux, A., & Marmot, M. (2005). Role of socialization in explaining social inequalities in health. Social Science & Medicine, 60, 2129–2133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Steptoe, A., Wardle, J., & Marmot, M. (2005). Positive affect and health-related neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and inflammatory processes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102, 6508–6512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stiglitz, J., Sen, A., & Fitoussi, J.-P. (2009). Report by the commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress.Google Scholar
  56. Stone, A., & Shiffman, S. (1994). Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) in behavioral medicine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 16, 199–202.Google Scholar
  57. Sullivan, O. (1996a). Time co-ordination, the domestic division of labour and affective relations: Time use and the enjoyment of activities within couples. Sociology, 30, 79–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sullivan, O. (1996b). The enjoyment of activities: Do couples affect each others’ well-being? Social Indicators Research, 38, 81–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Szalai, A. (1972). The use of time. The Hague and Paris: Mouton.Google Scholar
  60. Tankard, J., & Harris, M. (1990). A discriminant-analysis of television viewers and non-viewers. Journal of Broadcasting, 24, 399–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Veblen, T. (1953). The theory of the leisure class. New York: Mentor Books.Google Scholar
  62. Walker, K., & Gauger, W. (1973). Time and its dollar value in household work. Family Economics Review, Fall, 8–13.Google Scholar
  63. Weiss, Y. (1996). Synchronization of work schedules. International Economic Review, 37, 157–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations