1 Volume 10 Issue 1

Student time allocation and self-rated performance – Evidence from a sample survey in Sicily (Italy)

Massimo Mucciardi

The paper collects the results of a survey performed in 2010 aimed at analysing how high school students in the province of Messina in Sicily (Italy) spend their time. Principally, is analyzed the interaction between use of time, scholastic performance and time dedicated to study. So, we propose an estimation model for the daily study-time of students. From a methodological point of view, using a two stage regression procedure to estimate self-rate performance (Srpe) and time devoted to study (Tstu) allows to correct the estimates by simultaneity effects between these variables. In the first stage, the self-rate performance at school is estimated in a reduced form and is used as a proxy of scholastic performance in the second step. Next, we run an ordinal regression in order to estimate the hours dedicated to study declared by the student. The results obtained show that students with a high expected value of study-time come from lyceum, they are mostly females, and tend to read more. Furthermore, they have satisfactory scholastic performance, are helped by their mothers when they do their homework, have a lower-than-average age difference with their mothers, but a higher-than-average age difference with their fathers.

A measure of concentration of the use of time, with an application to the pattern of daily leisure activities

Jorge González Chapela

Drawing an analogy with industry concentration, a well-grounded measure of individual concentration (or specialization) of the use of time is presented. Equipped with this measure, we explain and provide evidence of a “division of leisure” effect on the organization of daily leisure activities. A demand model featuring subsistence daily leisure shows that the concentration of leisure can vary with the quantity of leisure available. Sequential moment conditions and the exogenous possibility of more leisure brought about by the weekend unveil an asymmetrically U-shaped response in a sample of employed German men.

Paradata correlates of data quality in an SMS time use study – Evidence from a validation study

Philip S. Brenner, John D. DeLamater

Abstract: Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging is a ubiquitous technology available on the vast majority of cellphones in use in 2013. It provides a common technological denominator between mobile devices of nearly every make and model, supplying researchers an avenue to collect data without the expense and difficulty of designing specific applications for every cellphone or device on the market. SMS/text messaging was used as a method of data collection using a sample of students from a large, Midwestern university. The procedure adapted conventional time use measurement procedures to fit the device, the sample, and the behavior of interest. After answering questions on a brief Web survey, respondents were asked to text researchers for five days, updating major changes in their activities. Following data collection, data from the text condition was compared to that from a conventional (Web) survey and data from a reverse record check from campus recreation facilities to validate reports of the behavior of interest – physical exercise and activity. Findings suggest that respondents provided consistently high quality data on self-reports of the behaviors of interest. Moreover, paradata measures of text data quality (e.g., number of text messages sent, number of days with messages) predict data quality on the behavior of interest.

Interviewer and respondent interactions and quality assessments in a time diary study

Vicki A. Freedman, Jessica Broome, Frederick Conrad, Jennifer C. Cornman

Systematic investigations of the cognitive challenges in completing time diaries and measures of quality for such interviews have been lacking. To fill this gap, we analyze respondent and interviewer behaviors and interviewerprovided observations about diary quality for a computer-assisted telephone-administered time diary supplement to the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We find that 93%-96% of sequences result in a codable answer and interviewers rarely assist respondents with comprehension. Questions about what the respondent did next and for how long appear more challenging than follow-up descriptors. Long sequences do not necessarily signal comprehension problems, but often involve interviewer utterances designed to promote conversational flow. A 6-item diary quality scale appropriately reflects respondents’ difficulties and interviewers’ assistance with comprehension, but is not correlated with conversational flow. Discussion focuses on practical recommendations for time diary studies and future research

Visualizing multinational daily life via multidimensional scaling (MDS)

John P. Robinson, Jonathan Gershuny

One of the notable innovations in social-science methodology developed during the 1960s was MultiDimensional Scaling (MDS). MDS made it possible for social scientists to discover, uncover or model the underlying spatial structure of relations between various social collectives (like countries or communities), social objects (like music or artifacts) or social attitudes. One early application of MDS described the dimensional contours of Americans’ views of other countries in terms of “perceptual maps of the world”. More recently, it has been used to map country differences in the World Values Survey. Spurred by its initial successful applications, MDS was extended to time-diary data collected in the pioneering 1965 Multinational Time-Budget Study, in which it again provided insightful portrayals of daily activity across the 15 national settings in that study. This present article updates and extends these results by applying MDS methods to the most recent diary collection in the Oxford University MTUS data archive – covering more than 20 (mainly European) countries. Once again, the result was plausible (but somewhat different) configurations again emerged from MDS visualizations. Moreover, these mappings were compatible with conclusions from the 1965 mapping and with earlier more conventional analyses.


New developments in time technology – projects, data, computing and services