Essays on Household Behavior and Time-Use
Sammanfattning: Essay 1 studies the household's decision to supply labor and tests if the so-called unitary model holds. What is subject to a test is the resulting symmetry of the Slutsky matrix, i.e., that the compensated cross-wage effects are equal. The test uses Swedish time budget data from 1984 and 1993. Contrary to most other studies from other countries, the conclusion is that symmetry cannot be rejected.Essay 2 (with Anders Klevmarken) analyzes the trade-off between parents' time with their own kids and market work, and its dependence on out-of-home day care. Process benefit scores indicate that time with one's own children is prefered above all other activites, closely followed by market work. Our empirical results suggest that, using a simultaneous equation framework, parents' decisions about market work and time with their children are strongly interdependent. Economic incentives primarily work through decisions about market work, while the direct effects on time with their children are weak. The results suggest that a change in the mother's working hours has less influence on the parents' time with their children than a change in the father's working hours. This would imply that a policy working to increase the time with people's own children should primarily influence the father's work hours. We also find that parents prefer joint activities with their children, and that out-of-home child care is not chosen as a substitute for own time with children.Essay 3 examines the temporal choices of time-use, synchronous leisure of spouses and the extent to which spouses spend time together. I test if spouses coordinate their working schedule so that they obtain more synchronous leisure and estimate the size of the effect of coordination in terms of additional synchronous leisure by using a control group of matched singles. The time budget data set used in this paper allows for a distinction between simultaneous time-use of spouses and the actual time that spouses meet. The empirical results suggest that the effect of spouses' coordination of work and leisure schedules is 45 minutes of additional synchronous leisure. Spouses' decisions about market work and leisure timing are very interdependent during most hours of the day. The results also suggest that, conditional on synchronous leisure, parents with small children spend less time together than others, while couples below 40 spend more time together than older ones. There is also some support for more educated people allocating less time to their spouses.Essay 4 (with Per Johansson) gives general conditions for the data generating process to facilitate the testing of structural dependence of turnover on the average (or median) price in the homogenous housing market. Furthermore, the implications of aggregation over sub-markets is studied. A plausible explanation of the disparate empirical findings in this literature may be aggregation over heterogenous sub-markets. This conclusion is supported by empirical findings using longitudinal quarterly data for 289 Swedish municipalities during 1981:1-2000:2.
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