14th journées Louis-André Gérard-Varet

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Measuring preference for leisure using hypothetical choices
Lex Borgans, Marion Collewet, Philipp Seegers

Last modified: 2015-03-18


This paper presents a tool to measure preference for leisure by eliciting the shape of individual indifference curves between leisure and consumption. We asked more than 16,000 German students to indicate which different combinations of working time and wage they would find equally satisfying for their future graduate jobs. This information reveals a big diversity in preferences and can be used to study how the utility of different individuals is likely to be affected by a given change in their working time. For instance, individuals who are planning to work longer hours are more likely to like decreases and dislike increases in working time.


labour supply; survey questions; preference elicitation; well-being