Mark Aguiar, Princeton University

Department seminar. Mark Aguiar is the Walker Professor of Economics and International Finance at Princeton University. He will present a paper entitled "Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men", co-authored by Mark Bils, Kerwin Kofi Charles and Erik Hurst.

Photo of Mark Aguiar.

Mark Aguiar.


Since 2004, time-use data show that younger men, ages 21 to 30, shifted their leisure sharply to video gaming and other recreational computer activities. Over the same period, these younger men exhibited a larger decline in work hours than older men or women. We propose a framework to answer whether improved leisure technology affected younger men’s labor supply. The starting point is a leisure demand system that parallels that often estimated for consumer expenditures. We show that total leisure demand is especially sensitive to innovations in leisure luxuries, that is, activities that display a disproportionate response to changes in total leisure time. Using crossregion variation, we estimate that gaming/recreational computer use is distinctly a leisure luxury for younger men. We calculate that innovations to gaming/recreational computing reduced younger men’s labor supply by 1.5 to 3.1 percent since 2004. That would explain 23 to 46 percent of their decline in market hours over the period.

Read the full paper here [pdf]

Host: Hans Holter

Published June 29, 2018 3:24 PM - Last modified Aug. 22, 2018 2:37 PM