1 Volume 13 Issue 1

Measuring short and rare activities – Time diaries in criminology

Sjoerd Van Halem, Evelien M. Hoeben, Wim Bernasco, Tom F. M. Ter Bogt

Motivated by recent time use studies in criminology, this study examined whether time diaries are suitable for measuring short and rare activities such as offending. The study compared time diary data collected among 843 adolescents from the conurbation of The Hague (the Netherlands) with stylized questionnaire data from the same respondents, and with stylized questionnaire data from another sample that is representative for Dutch adolescents (N = 1849). Based on the reported offenses in the diaries (N = 101), findings indicate that time diaries may underestimate population offense rates and may not capture offenses committed by low-frequent offenders. On the other hand, time diaries seem able to measure changes in individuals’ involvement in offending over time and to capture most of the situational conditions under which offenses occur. The study concludes with suggestions for dealing with the problems associated with measuring short and rare activities.

The relationship between videogames, time allocation decisions, and labour market outcomes – Evidence from the American Time Use Survey

Daniel MacDonald

Using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), I analyze the time allocation decisions and labor market outcomes of those who play videogames. Controlling for individual and regional characteristics, I find that among students, playing videogames is negatively associated with time spent on educational activities, and I derive estimates of this association that are similar in magnitude to other recent studies. I also find that among workingage individuals, playing videogames is negatively associated with labor supply and not associated with time spent on job search. After accounting for the nonlinear effects of playing videogames, I find that more time spent playing videogames may actually attenuate or reverse the negative association found in the linear model. This paper contributes to recent research studying the impact of playing videogames on time allocation decisions in non-experimental settings and it represents a novel analysis of its effects on working-age individuals – a growing subset of people who play videogames.

Women’s labor in South Africa – Time spent doing simultaneous paid and unpaid work

Leanne Roncolato, Natalia Radchenko

Empirical literature finds gender and presence of children as key determinants of unpaid work time. There is also extensive research on women’s role in small-scale agriculture and women’s disproportional representation in informal employment in developing countries. However, there has been no work to empirically link a woman’s time spent simultaneously doing paid and unpaid work with her type of employment. The availability of rich time use data from South Africa yields an opportunity to explore this critical question with empirical rigor. Results show that small-scale agriculture and informal employment are associated with women doing more paid and unpaid work simultaneously implying a positive non-pecuniary benefit of certain types of employment related to women’s need to navigate strict time constraints and limited choices.

Tax-reforms, normal and actual working hours and welfare in the beginning of the 20th’s Denmark

Jens Bonke

We estimate a labor supply function and the impact of tax-reforms on men and women’s labor supply using normal and actual working hours. The data stem from the Danish Time-Use Surveys in 2001 and 2008/09 which include information from stylized survey questions and time-use diaries. The results suggest that the wage-rate effects are larger when using normal working hours compared to actual working hours, and that income effects are less sensitive to working hour measures. We also find that the associations between marginal tax rate and normal and actual working hours are smaller for men and women satisfied with their leisure time than for unsatisfied men and women. Lastly, an increase in the normal labor supply was greater for the tax-reform treated group than for the control group, while increase in the actual labor supply was smaller for the treated group. The last findings are not significant, however, probably due to a small number of observations.

Time for shopping – Social change of time use for shopping activities 1990-2012

Georgios Papastefanou, David Zajchowski

The daily shopping, so activities that aim at the acquisition of mainly household-related goods, food and services, is a constituent element of modern consumer society. In addition to the monetary aspect of the extraction of goods and services from the market, the temporal aspect weighs in as opportunity costs for shopping activities,. Against the background of a postulated social change in recent decades that has led to an increase in the daily pace of life, the question is whether and how these sccelerating changes have also transformed the time patterns of everyday shopping, such as shopping frequency and shopping time. To investigate this question, data of the time use surveys of the Federal Statistical Office from 1991/92, 2001/02 and 2012/13 is analyzed. The results suggest that both the average shopping frequency as well as the average shopping duration has increased during that period of time. It is discussed how these results are consistent with the hypothesis of an extensive social acceleration.


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