Photo: xymox on flickr
Income inequality is still rising in the U.S., as wealthy people continue to make and spend more. But they also work harder, according to a recent study by Orazio Attanasio, Erik Hurst and Luigi Pistaferri.The study found that lower-educated people had much more leisure time than their higher-educated counterparts. Leisure time is a factor that plays heavily into a person’s health and well-being.
To find out how much leisure time the different demographics had, researchers compared data from the 1985 Americans’ Use of Time survey and the 2003-07 American Time Use survey. Highly-educated people are defined with those who have more than 12 years of education.
Here’s what they found:
First, in 1985, low educated men took only slightly more hours per week of leisure than high educated men. However, by 2007, the leisure differences between high and low educated men are substantial. Specifically, low educated men experienced a 2.5 hours per week gain in leisure between 1985 and 2007. High educated men, during the same time period, experienced a 1.2 hour per week decline in leisure. The new effect is that leisure inequality increased dramatically after 1985. Again, similar patterns are found for women.
Here’s a chart showing hours of leisure time for men and women in the different groups:
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