Time Allocation of People not Working in the Market : How Does Unemployment Differ from Economic Inactivity in Central Eastern Europe?
The new theories of household behavior, considering time as an essential human resource, and time allocation as a major issue in the decision-making, permitted the application of economic analysis to a broader spectrum of human activity than the traditional approach did. Referring to the concept of Becker and Gronau, the article compares the non-market activity of the unemployed to the allocation of time of those who, being of working age, are economically inactive. An analysis was performed for Estonia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia using comparable time-use statistics extracted from the HETUS database. According to the results obtained, the unemployed are more prone to active consumption compared with the economically inactive. A similar comparison of unemployed women to those who declare themselves as "fulfilling domestic tasks" confirmed the differences in the observed structure of leisure for the entire population. Furthermore individuals, who do not work in the market, pursue various types of consumption, depending on their declared activity status. Inactive agents produce more time-consuming commodities in contrast to the unemployed. The latter, having the opportunity to value their time in the context of the salary they obtained when working, pursue goods-intensive consumption to a greater extent. (original abstract)
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