CTUR Technical Papers
This paper is to examine the relationship between the length and the timing of working time by applying ‘the timing map’ in working time research. There is a basic analysis for the timing, which is participation rates by time of day and their graph (referred to as ‘the timing graph’ in this paper). Although the graph is still useful to look at when a person does a particular activity, the relationship between the length and the timing of the activity time still cannot quite be seen. As examples, additional research questions could be: * When they work longer hours, to what extent do people work later in the evening or earlier in the morning? * At what time do they take work breaks, meals and sleep? In order to answer these questions, ‘the timing map’ is proposed in this paper, using episode data from the Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) provided by the Centre for Time Use Research. By comparing the timing of full-time workers between the U.S.A. and the Netherlands, we find that American workers who work excessively long hours on weekdays may have to not only work later but also get up earlier and work earlier in the morning, shorten the work break around noon, and eat later evening meals. This paper also shows that ‘the timing map’ has the advantage of visually representing a way one can see directly how people work and how they spend time on other activities, without losing personal episode information.
We provide a comprehensive focussed discussion of the long-term evolution of time budgets in a range of European, North-American and Pacific democracies, summarising arguments about the changing balances between work and leisure as well as paid and unpaid work. We contrast economists’ assumptions about the purely instrumental nature of work, with sociological and social-psychological arguments as to why we might want or need work in and for itself. We use evidence from 16 countries drawn from the day-diaries included in the Multinational Time Use Study to describe trends in paid and unpaid work over five decades. We demonstrate: (1) the approximate historical constancy and cross-national similarity in the total of paid plus unpaid work time; (2) a gender convergence in work patterns and the emergence of the phenomenon of iso-work; and (3) a reversal in the human-capital-related work-leisure gradient, which we associate with a relative decline in “industriousness” in the paid work of early 21st century societies.
This paper analyzes the relationship between health status and time allocation decisions in 6 European countries. Using the Multinational Time Use Study, we find that a better perception of own health is associated with less time devoted to sleep, personal care, and non-market work, and with less time in leisure for men, while it is associated with more time in market work. We also find that the relationship across the activities is very similar across countries, and that market work has a relationship of substitution with sleep, personal care, non-market work and leisure, with mixed evidence for the rest of relationships. This analysis of the relationship of health status and time allocation decisions represents a first step to understand cross-country differences in the relationship between health status and time devoted to activities different from market work, which has been shown to be important for well-being
Kahneman and Krueger’s landmark Princeton Affect and Time Survey (PATS, 2006), which popularised collection of emotional responses to daily activities previously pioneered by Juster and Stafford (1985) and Robinson and Godbey (1997), reveals the emotional context of American time schedules. While only a handful of countries have collected national sample time use and affect data, those surveys available offer opportunities to measure the degree to which people in these countries find various activities 'pleasant' or 'unpleasant'. We can use time and affect data to construct national well-being accounts linked to lived daily experiences. Such accounts in turn create the opportunity to test how populations might feel should they adopt alternative lifestyles encouraged by national government policies. This paper outlines the technical procedures undertaken in producing a ‘counterfactual’ estimate of time and affect in America. We do this by comparing time use patterns in Australia and the USA and simulating what would happen to wellbeing if the latter country adopted the time patterns of the former. Even though we expect differences in unpleasant time to emerge between the two countries, a hypothetical examination of what would happen if Americans were to shift to Australian-style time schedules is revealing for policy in both countries.
• Volunteering covers three main domains of activity – donated work for an organisation; informal work for other individuals or the community in general; and adult care.
• British men and women volunteered in roughly equal proportions in the 1970s, but women volunteer at a higher rate than men (though men tend to commit equal and possibly slightly higher time to volunteering than women when they do decide to volunteer).
• The British are less likely to volunteer at younger ages, and more likely to volunteer and to spend more time volunteering as they approach and in the years immediately after retirement.
• Voluntary activity in the United Kingdom falls in the middle range of volunteering in industrialised countries. People in many countries do less, but in some countries, including the USA and Turkey, people undertake considerably more voluntary activity.
• Voluntary behaviour in the UK has become more fragmented over the day with time.
• Over 40% of voluntary activity takes place at the same time as other activities. Diaries best collect these simultaneous activities that include volunteering.
• The Harmonised European Time Use Surveys design of diary, which enables people to complete activities in their own words, better collects data on the range of voluntary activities, particularly informal volunteering.
• Surveys need to collect large samples to collect diaries on sufficient numbers of days when people volunteer to assess the total volume and patterns of voluntary activity.
• Diaries show how people schedule voluntary activity into their other daily routines. Estimating the capacity of a society to take up more voluntary activity requires knowledge of people’s capacity to multi-task and the shift schedules. Diaries reveal what people do on days when they volunteer, but do not indicate the total number of people who might volunteer over the longer term. Additional survey questions or a one month volunteering schedule attached to a time diary survey could reveal this additional detail.
• While a wealth of time-use surveys permit tracking of behaviour trends in the UK from 1961 through 2005, the best historical survey informing voluntary activity was collected in 2000-01.
• Time diaries offer particular value for money. Diaries have higher administration costs than questionnaire surveys, but daily activity schedules inform a wide range of policy areas, including transport, physical activity, energy and resource use, total economic activity (paid and unpaid), work-life balance, parenting, eating and drinking behaviours, and quality of life. One time-use survey can address more areas than comparable funding on a series of questionnaire surveys.