Out of Control Policy Blog

Doowutchyalike

According to a new Boston Fed study, Americans are spending more time doing what they like:

    We document that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked (per working-age adult) between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, we document that leisure for men increased by 6-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by 4-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). This increase in leisure corresponds to roughly an additional 5 to 10 weeks of vacation per year, assuming a 40-hour work week. We also find that leisure increased during the last 40 years for a number of sub-samples of the population, with less-educated adults experiencing the largest increases.

Via Don Boudreaux, who also points to this blurb from a recent Economist article:

    Do the numbers add up? One thing missing in Messrs Aguiar's and Hurst's work is that they have deliberately ignored the biggest leisure-gainers in the population -- the growing number of retired folk. The two economists excluded anyone who has reached 65 years old, as well as anyone under that age who retired early. So America's true leisure boom is even bigger than their estimate.

For evidence that Americans are also increasingly likely to do what they like at work, go here and here.

Lyrics to Digital Underground's second most famous song, Doowutchyalike, here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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