Aggregate Impacts of a Gift of Time
How would people spend additional time if confronted by permanent declines in market work? We examine the impacts of cuts in legislated standard hours that raised employers' overtime costs in Japan around 1990 and Korea in the early 2000s. Using time-diaries from before and after these shocks, we show that these shocks were effective--per-capita hours of market work declined discretely. The economy-wide drops in market work were reallocated solely to leisure and personal maintenance. In the absence of changing household technology a permanent time gift leads to no increase in time spent in household production by the average individual.
We thank Sandy Black, Steve Trejo and participants in seminars at several universities and other institutions for their comments. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Jungmin Lee & Daiji Kawaguchi & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2012. "Aggregate Impacts of a Gift of Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 612-16, May. citation courtesy of