National Utility: measuring the enjoyment of activities
This article applies a sociologically informed theoretical perspective on time allocation—assuming that choices are made by actors who are embedded within constrained sequences of daily activity—in empirical estimations of mean and marginal utilities for a comprehensive list of daily activities. It uses data from two time diary surveys, one from the USA and one from the UK, which register the respondents’ levels of enjoyment of each diary event. Remarkable similarities emerge between the estimates for the two countries. Time use samples from a range of countries and historical periods are compared which suggest the possibility that, despite substantial economic growth during the last third of the 20th century, aggregate National Utility may have actually declined for some groups in some developed countries.
European Sociological Review
Volume and page numbers
29 , 996 -1009
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