Measuring trends in leisure: The allocation of time over five decades

Mark Aguiar, Erik Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

522 Scopus citations


In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time within the United States. We find that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, using a variety of definitions for leisure, we show that leisure for men increased by roughly six to nine hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by roughly four to eight hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-1006
Number of pages38
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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