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Essays in empirical microeconomics : health and time use, intrahousehold time allocation, and other-regarding behavior in an experimental setting

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Item Summary

Title: Essays in empirical microeconomics : health and time use, intrahousehold time allocation, and other-regarding behavior in an experimental setting
Authors: Wengrin, Melinda Podor
Keywords: time use
health
microeconomics
Issue Date: Aug 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2012]
Abstract: The strategy that we adopt to investigate these e ects is as follows. First, to provide us with a loose structure, we construct a simple model of health and time allocation based on Gronau (1980). Second, we analyze data from the American Time Use Survey. Due to a dearth of convincing exogenous sources of variation in health status, the approach that we adopt here is very descriptive.We conduct simple exercises in which we look at how time allocations vary with age and health by gender and marital status while controlling for common confounding variables. We then use these estimated partial correlations in conjunction with comparative statics from our model to make inferences on the relative e ects of health on market and non-market e ciency. We take a descriptive approach due to endogeneity issues and a lack of convincing instrumental variables, as well as other limitations. Major data limitations are the unavailability of spousal time use diaries as well as spousal health status measures. This prevents us from using actual spouses in our analysis. There are many reverse causality possibilities between health and time uses, including health and sleep, health and exercise, and health and leisure/work. Rather than attempting to overcome these severe limitations (and any attempts would be tenuous), we contend with the fact that correlations, taken together with a model, are still useful in drawing some important conclusions. Our ndings indicate that better health is correlated with more time allocated to \productive"2 activities and less time to various types of leisure. These correlations are larger for market than for non-market production. If market-and home-produced goods are highly substitutable (which is not an unreasonable assumption), then the larger positive correlation between health and home production implies that health exerts a greater e ect on non-market e ciency than on market e ciency. Interest-ingly, we show that most of the relationship between health and home production for single people occurs at the intensive margin, whereas the reverse is true for couples. This suggests that, for married people time allocated to home production is some-what inelastic with respect to their own health, unless they are su ciently unhealthy in which case they do not work at all. Finally, and in the spirit of this previous result, we show that the correlations between health and home production are larger for singles than for couples, which may reect less market substitutes for the time of married people.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101016
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Economics



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