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Time Online Crowds Out Offline Leisure, Work, Sleep

Time Online Crowds Out Offline Leisure, Work, Sleep

Wallsten’s Revised Study to be Published in Upcoming NBER Book

Contact: Amy Smorodin
(202) 828-4405

October 22, 2013 – Online leisure crowds out other, offline activities such as offline leisure, work, and sleep, finds Scott Wallsten in “What Are We Not Doing When We’re Online?” released as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Wallsten, TPI Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research, analyzed the 2003 – 2011 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey to determine how online leisure is substituting for other leisure activities, to what extent and how online activities are evolving.

Wallsten’s research reveals that time spent online and the share of the population engaged in online activities has been increasing steadily. He find that, on the margin, each minute of online leisure time is correlated with 0.29 fewer minutes on all other types of leisure, with about half of that coming from time spent watching TV and video, 0.05 minutes from (offline) socializing, 0.04 minutes from relaxing and thinking, and the balance from time spent at parties, attending cultural events, and listening to the radio. Each minute of online leisure is also correlated with 0.27 fewer minutes working, 0.12 fewer minutes sleeping, 0.10 fewer minutes in travel time, 0.07 fewer minutes in household activities, and 0.06 fewer minutes in educational activities.

The working paper, “What Are We Not Doing When We’re Online?” is available on the NBER website. The paper will be included in the upcoming book, “Economics of Digitization,” to be published by NBER. The paper is a revised version of a previous study published by TPI.

The Technology Policy Institute

The Technology Policy Institute is a non-profit research and educational organization that focuses on the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world. More information is available at https://techpolicyinstitute.org/.

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