Measuring the Values for Time
Most economic models for time allocation ignore constraints on what people can actually do with their time. Economists recently have emphasized the importance of considering prior consumption commitments that constrain behavior. This research develops a new model for time valuation that uses time commitments to distinguish consumers' choice margins and the different values of time these imply. The model is estimated using a new survey that elicits revealed and stated preference data on household time allocation. The empirical results support the framework and find an increasing marginal opportunity cost of time as longer time blocks are used.
Partial support for this research was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under grant #R-82950801 and by CEnREP at North Carolina State University. Thanks are due Douglas Larson for very helpful comments on an earlier draft, to Jaren Pope and Brian Stynes for their assistance in conducting the survey used for this analysis, to Melissa Brandt, Michael Darden, Eric McMillen and Vincent McKeever for assistance in assembling the data from the household survey, and to Kenny Pickle and Vinnie Ditto for preparing several versions of this manuscript. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.