Home Production, House Values, and the Great Recession

Journal Article

Home Production, House Values, and the Great Recession

March 4, 2016

Abstract

Time devoted to home production (e.g., cooking and cleaning) is of great interest to economists who study families. Standard models emphasizing the role of wages and unemployment predict that home production will increase in recessions. However, analyses of home production over the business cycle find that time spent on home production stays relatively constant during recessions. This article hypothesizes that falling house values may explain why time spent on home production does not increase in economic downturns. An empirical test using the American Time Use Survey confirms the hypothesis under certain circumstances.

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