Macro Studies in Time Use Research

  1. Time use and inequality
  2. The objective is to develop a new stratification measure based on time in addition to money. There are various emerging theoretical and empirical approaches to time-poverty or wealth. The behavioural and normative assumptions of these approaches will be explored and improved-on (with a measure of “command over time”), using the comparative time-budget data. The current literature largely ignores the short-term estimate problem, whose resolution may provide, for the first time, an adequate empirical view of the issue of the societal distribution of temporal life-balances.

  3. Public regulation and the work-leisure balance
  4. The micro time-use has a simple macroscopic extension. Final expenditure on goods and services corresponds to the value added by workers to purchased commodities. There must be enough paid work time at given wage rates, to provide the commodities that must accompany the society’s leisure or consumption time. Distributions of income are thus associated with particular distributions of work- and leisure-time. This sub-project will construct simple simulations of these relationships, with parameters derived from time-diary studies, to consider a range of alternative linked work/leisure balances and their associated income distributions--allowing us to investigate the practical viability of, for example, egalitarian leisure societies as compared to highly stratified long-work-hours societies.

  5. Time diaries can be used as the basis of conceptually and empirically integrated national accounts of wellbeing
  6. “Extended GNP” measures derived by placing appropriate wage-type values on unpaid work are now widely accepted. Less well-understood is the use of time diary-based leisure sequences to estimate equivalent extended national consumption measures. Diaries can also be used as the basis for national utility accounts, estimating “gross national enjoyment” measures (as distinguished from GNP (which treat all work as instrumental and hence only to be valued as the money value of output) by their even-handed representation of the enjoyment of work and leisure. We will design time budget accounts as an integrating device out of which GNP, extended GNP, and “Gross National Utility can all be derived.