31.1.06

BACKWARD BENDS THE SUPPLY CURVE? Bill at Atlantic Blog quotes the abstract of a recent Boston Fed working paper, "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time over Five Decades." Key point:
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.
There's something perplexing about the last sentence, in that the income effect leading to the backward-bending supply curve takes effect at higher incomes. The .pdf is a bit slow to load at the moment. Perhaps more next week.

SECOND SECTION. Got the paper to open. The authors note the same perplexity early on. Paper runs 61 pages. Definitely for next week.

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