Young People's Time Use Patterns and Future Labour Market Outcome: Does Studying Pay-off?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:45 PM
Room: Booth 42
Distributed Paper
Evrim ALTINTAS , Sociology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Jonathan GERSHUNY , University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Time use data is not adequately exploited to understand adolescents’ time patterns (Furstenberg 2000) and life course perspective is, “nearly absent in time use research” (Gauthier and Furstenberg 2002:155).  In this paper we address this gap and investigate the effect of young people’s time use patterns through life course perspective using a novel dataset that combines longitudinal study and time diary evidence.

We exploit the four-day time diary survey collected for the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) respondents in 1986, linked to previous and subsequent waves of BCS70. We test a series of hypotheses linking the accumulation of various sorts of embodied capitals (social, cultural and economic) out of daily activities, to the result of deployment of these capitals later in life. We ask, for example, whether time spent in school-related human capital formation activities at the age of 16 predicts earnings or probability of being in employment at later ages; and whether this effect varies by gender and class.

Preliminary findings suggest that regular studying in adolescence positively affects future earnings even after controlling for parental background. However, the effect of time spent in school related activities has a stronger effect on future earnings of those coming from better-off households. The effort in adolescence is not enough to compensate for gender inequality in earnings later in life.