Discussion Paper

No. 2013-57 | October 30, 2013
Determinants of the Weight for Leisure in Preferences


In this paper, the authors investigate the determinants of weight for leisure in preferences. First, using a dynamic general equilibrium model, they back out the weight for leisure for an unbalanced panel of 52 countries over the period from 1950 to 2009. Then, the authors perform several panel data regressions using the backed-out values of the preference for leisure as the dependent variable. Estimation results imply that trade openness, GDP per-capita and average temperature positively affect the weight for leisure in preferences in a robust manner. The authors also find some evidence about the effect of unionization and unemployment.

Data Set

JEL Classification:

C23, C33, J20, J22


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Cite As

Ceyhun Elgin and Emekcan Yucel (2013). Determinants of the Weight for Leisure in Preferences. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2013-57, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2013-57

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - Interesting comprehensive analysis
October 31, 2013 - 13:13

I believe that it is very interesting paper. Generally, parameters in dynamic general equilibrium models are not given enough emphasis in the literature. They are mostly assumed to take (and somewhat arbitrary) exogenous values or alternatively they are sometimes are calibrated but do play an active role in the analysis. ...[more]

... In this paper the authors conduct a serious empirical analysis for one specific parameter of these kind of models, that is the weight of the leisure in the utility function. I observe that the question is interesting, both the theoretical model (used to back out the preference variable) as well as the empirical analysis are sound.

One tiny comment I wish to make is that the authors may make a somewhat longer discussion on how their results are related to labor market dynamics. Especially, their result on unionization is interesting, they may wish to elaborate more on that.

Ceyhun Elgin - Thank you
November 05, 2013 - 14:55

Thank you for your comments. We will address them in the revised version of our paper.

Anonymous - nice paper
December 19, 2013 - 08:33

a very interesting paper. the literature review might be extended a bit to put the paper in a proper place in the literature on preferences for leisure.

Anonymous - Referee report 1
December 20, 2013 - 12:45

see attached file

Ceyhun Elgin - thank you
January 03, 2014 - 14:52

thank you for your comments. We will address them in the revised version of our paper.