BPEA | Fall 2007

Are We Having More Fun Yet? Categorizing and Evaluating Changes in Time Allocation

Alan B. Krueger
Alan B. Krueger Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs - Princeton University

Fall 2007

ARE AMERICANS SPENDING THEIR time in more or less enjoyable ways
today than in earlier generations? The answer to this question is central
for understanding economic and social progress yet has been elusive and
controversial. From 1965–66 to 2005, for example, working-age American
women increased the amount of time spent working for pay, watching
television, and caring for adults while they reduced the amount of time
spent cooking, cleaning, entertaining friends, and reading books. Do these
shifts imply that women are better off or worse off?