Time-use surveys

Time-use surveys typically involve respondents completing a time-use diary alongside a questionnaire on demographic and other information. The inclusion of a time-use diary offers a unique opportunity to gather information that relates activities to particular subjective states and to collect information on the amount of time spent in different subjective states. In particular, time-use surveys have been used to collect data on affect at varying levels of detail. The American Time Use Survey 2011 included an implementation of the Day Reconstruction Method (Kahneman and Krueger, 2006), which collected detailed information on the affective states associated with a representative sample of episodes drawn from the diaries. This allows analysis of how different affective states vary depending on activity type and calculation of the aggregate amount of time spent in different affective states. The Enquete Emploi du temps 2010, run by the French statistical agency, the INSEE, uses an alternative approach to collecting information on subjective well-being in time diaries. Rather than collecting detailed information on a sample of episodes, the INSEE selected a sub-sample of respondents to self-complete a simple seven point scale (-3 to +3), rating each activity from tres desagreable to tres agreable. This gives less information on each activity for which information is collected but gathers information on all recorded diary time, therefore providing a larger effective sample of diary entries with subjective well-being information attached.

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