1 Volume 4 Issue 1

Time use and options for retirement in Europe

Hannu Piekkola, Liisa Leijola

This paper examines the incentive effects of market and household work on retirement. This is accomplished by documenting the time use in market and household work in selected European countries. The assignment of an economic value to household work assumes substitutability of market and household work of some degree. With continuous lifetime patterns, household work may also replace market work after retirement. We construct replacement rates and option values that include the value of household work for 7 European countries. It is shown that the inclusion of household work in calculations on incentives makes the prospect of retiring more attractive, and that the calculation results correlate with actual retirement ages in Europe. Replacement rates are close to or exceed 100% when household work is accounted for. For men the increase in household work after withdrawing from the labour market is larger in relative terms (double on average). Therefore the effect of accounting for household work in the financial incentive to retire is greater for men.

Cultural voraciousness − A new measure of the pace of leisure in a context of 'harriedness'

Oriel Sullivan

A new measure of 'voraciousness' in leisure activities is introduced as an indicator of the pace of leisure, facilitating a theoretical linkage between the literature on time pressure, busyness and harriedness in late modernity, and the literature on cultural consumption. On the methodological side it is shown that time use diaries can provide at least as good a measure of the pace of leisure as survey based measures. Respondents with a high score on the voraciousness measure ('harried' respondents) are not less likely to complete their diaries than less harried respondents. In accord with the findings from the literature on cultural omnivorousness, the most voracious groups are those with high levels of social status and human capital. However, these associations are not due to these groups having either higher income or greater quantities of available leisure time. The pace of leisure activities must therefore be due to other factors, for example, could a fast pace of out-of-home leisure participation be conceived of as a new marker of status distinction?

Stress, time use and gender

Jens Bonke, Frederik Gerstoft

This paper studies the gender aspect of stress within a Scandinavian welfare state regime with high employment rates for both women and men. By applying an economic model, an extended model and a stress-level model, we find that higher incomes lead to stress among women, somewhat confirming findings for Australia, Germany, Canada, Korea, and the US. The number of working hours on the labour market, however, has no impact on stress. In terms of employed women, household work acts as de-stressors, whereas rush hour pressure, which is introduced for the first time here, acts as stressors. Moreover, the wife’s contribution to household work almost increases the husband’s feeling of being “always” stressed, while the husband’s contribution implies that the wife is nearly less stressed. These results underline the importance of including financial as well as cross-partner information when analysing the presence of stress.

Gender and time allocation differences in Taganrog, Russia

Monika Hjeds Löfmark

Data from a time-use survey made in 1997 and 1998 for the city of Taganrog, Russia, is used to analyse the socio-economic determinants of allocation of time and the gender division of housework among married/cohabiting couples. The main objective of this essay is to identify and assess the impact of a range of socioeconomic factors expected to influence the gender division of labour and the time devoted to household activities. The reasons why men and women allocate time differently may be ascribed to efficiency aspects, relative bargaining power, normative and/or discriminatory factors. The results of our estimations suggest that variables such as having children (age 0-12), household income and share of labour income affect the time women spend on housework to a larger extent than men. Furthermore, male education seems to affect both men and women, whereas the education of women has little importance. Thus it seems probable that efficiency factors alone do not suffice to explain the gender differences in time allocation. Our results are to a large extent in line with previous research and do not indicate that Russia differs from Western experience more than Western countries differ among themselves. Gender differences in time allocation show the same pattern over countries and regions even if societies may differ in many other aspects.

The changing relationship between parents’ education and their time with children

Satvika Chalasani

Inequality in American society is under extensive public and academic scrutiny today. This paper utilizes timeuse data to explore one facet of that inequality. It examines differences in the time that American parents spend with their children across different levels of parental education. It also examines how these differences have changed between 1985 and 2003. In addition, it explores educational differences in the ratios of mothers’ child time to fathers’ child time. The results indicate that better educated parents used to and continue to spend more time with their children than the less educated. Although parents at all levels of education have increased their time with children over the years, the better educated have made relatively larger gains. Further, while mothers spend more time with children than fathers, the ratio of mothers’ to fathers’ child time was and continues to be lower for the better educated than the less educated. Lastly, the gap in parent-child time between mothers and fathers has narrowed at every education level between 1985 and 2003.


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