Economic theories predict that with modernity and with the increase in standards of living, individuals will aspire for more leisure. However, the results of empirical studies which examined period trends in leisure time across developed countries do not confirm this presumption. The current study asks: If changes in leisure stem from ideational changes among different generations, will trends in leisure look different if examined across cohorts, or if measured differently? By integrating theoretical definitions of leisure based on literatures in economics, sociology, and psychology, this research derives three main macro-level empirical measures of leisure from various sources. These measures are used to analyze the contribution of population turnover to changes in the quantity of leisure, in developed countries, using linear regression decomposition method. Our results show an almost unequivocal increase in leisure across cohorts, across 159 country-periods, suggesting that new policies supporting domestic consumption are warranted.
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I gratefully acknowledge the excellent comments and advices received from Barbara S. Okun (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Anat Gofen (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Brienna Perelli-Harris (University of Southampton), and Michaela Kreyenfeld (Hertie School of Governance) at the early stages of this research. I also gratefully acknowledge the excellent research assistance of Alon Pertzikovitz.
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
- Cohort change
- Ideational change