Getting Started with Time-Use Data

Jay Stewart

Time-use data, methodology, sample design, multivariate analysis, ‘short-run’ and ‘long-run’ time use

Time-use data have unique characteristics that make it different from other types of household survey data. Single-day time use surveys provide a detailed snapshot of a person’s activities on the diary day. But the large amount of day-to-day variation in the amount of time spent in various activities means that activities done on the diary day do not reflect the person’s long-run time use. Thus, time-use data is a sample of person-days, not a sample of people. This feature of time-use data has implications for its analysis.