We document a change in household shopping behavior during the Great Recession. Households purchased more on sale, larger sizes, and generic products and increased coupon usage and shopping at discount stores. We estimate a decline in returns to shopping during the recession. Therefore, the increase in shopping behavior implies a significant decrease in households' opportunity cost of time. Using the estimated cost of time and time use data, we estimate a high elasticity of substitution between market expenditure and time spent on nonmarket work. We find that households smooth a sizable fraction of consumption by varying their time allocation during recessions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics