Friday, April 14, 2006

Labor, Leisure, and Inequality (Again)

by Tom Bozzo

Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen discovers that Aguiar and Hurst's paper on trends in labor and leisure time has hit the NBER working paper series, and styles it a "smackdown" of the "myth" of declining leisure time advanced by the likes of Juliet Schor.

Is it a smackdown? No. Stephen Karlson had drawn my attention to a release of the paper via the Boston Fed's working paper series back in early February. (N.B., the Boston Fed link above is more useful for NBER non-subscribers.)

From our archives:
What seems to be happening [taking the data at face value], by and large, is that market labor supply among the less-educated is significantly lagging that of the better-educated, and the residual of market and non-market labor is leisure. I wonder how much of the observed labor/leisure phenomenon represents a smooth labor/leisure tradeoff, versus a more complex balancing of costs and benefits pertaining to trying to string together a workweek from multiple McJobs.
There's more about the suspect definitions of "leisure" and the welfare interpretations for those who are interested.

See also the MaxSpeak archives (here, too) for additional discussion.

Maybe this can be Ken's (or our resident scholar of social class issues Kim's?) cue for a MR parody post...
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