Shopping time

Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau, Etienne Wasmer, Shutian Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is a renewed interest in macroeconomic theories of search frictions in the goods market that help solve quantitative puzzles on amplification and persistence of GDP, sales, inventory and advertisement. This requires a deeper understanding of the cyclical properties of the intensive margins of search in this market. Using the American Time Use Survey we construct an indicator of shopping time. It includes both searching and purchasing goods and is based on 25 time use categories (out of more than 400 categories). We find that average time spent shopping declined in the aggregate over the period 2008-2010 compared to 2005-2007. The decline was largest for the unemployed who went from spending more time shopping for goods than the employed to roughly the same, or even less, time. Cross-state and individual regressions indicate pro-cyclical consumer shopping time in the goods market. This evidence poses a challenge for models in which price comparisons are a driver of business cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalEconomics Letters
Volume143
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

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Keywords

  • American time use survey
  • Business cycles
  • Goods market search
  • Time allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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