Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann
Chapter 20: Immigrants’ time use: a survey of methods and evidence
Models of people’s time use – principally the standard labor and human capital models but also more general time allocation models – are at the heart of economists’ theories of immigrants’ behavior. However, time use has taken a back seat to other outcomes in empirical economic research on immigrants. Economic research has focused on outcomes that can be measured in terms of money, such as incomes, earnings, wage rates, public assistance benefits, tax payments and remittances. Except for hours devoted to work, immigrants’ time allocations have been at the center of only a few economic studies. Immigrants’ uses of time have been studied by anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, family researchers and health researchers. With the recent availability of large-scale time-use surveys, economists have also started to examine time use more comprehensively and make their own contributions. To continue that advancement, this chapter discusses a host of research avenues related to immigrants’ time use. It reviews several economic models of people’s time allocations and discusses their application to immigrant behavior.
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