Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men

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Aguiar, Mark, Mark Bils, Kerwin Kofi Charles, and Erik Hurst (2021): “Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men,” Journal of Political Economy.


We propose a methodology to measure quality improvements in leisure activities. The starting point is a leisure demand system that parallels that often estimated for con- sumer expenditures. By combining the estimated “leisure Engel curves” with detailed time diaries, we can infer how quality changed across leisure activities as well as the associated increase in the marginal return to leisure. We apply our method to eval- uate the returns to leisure of younger men, ages 21 to 30. This demographic shifted their leisure sharply to video gaming and other recreational computer activities since 2004. Over the same period, these younger men exhibited a larger decline in work hours than older men or women. Using cross-region variation, we estimate that gam- ing/recreational computer use is distinctly a leisure luxury for younger men. We calcu- late that innovations to gaming/recreational computing shifted in younger men’s labor supply at a given wage by 3.2 percent since 2004.

BibTeX Cite:

	Author = {Aguiar, Mark and Mark Bils and Kerwin Kofi Charles and Erik Hurst},
	Journal = {Journal of Political Economy},
	year = {2021},
	month = feb,
	publisher = {University of Chicago Press},
	volume = {129},
	number = {2},
	pages = {337--382},
	Title = {Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men},