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Economics of Leisure - Essay Example

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It is sometimes argued that leisure activity is relatively immune to economic factors, such as price and income, and is instead determined mainly by schooling, upbringing, and social class. This is relative to which side of the argument one sand. To begin with, the term leisure is often confused with the term recreation. …
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Economics of Leisure
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Economics of Leisure

Download file to see previous pages... Leisure is defined as time spent when one is not working. This means that time that is compensating for work. Other authors simply define leisure as the opportunity to express one's creativity and master new things so that they feel satisfied and a degree of self-accomplishment. Leisure activities can include resting at home, sleeping, watching movies, engaging in sport activities among others. These activities are essential in an individual’s life because they give satisfaction, pleasure, and enjoyment. They also enhance an individual’s self-esteem as well as promote the general quality of life. Kenneth Roberts argues that the role of leisure is to instill certain values such as teamwork, leadership, and fair play. He also holds that leisure consolidates the social system and compensates people for the unsatisfying and unrewarding aspects of life. For him, all individuals are free to choose the leisure activities they wish. Taking part in leisure activities may be beneficial or otherwise depending on the activities concerned. Some art, sport and recreation activities have beneficial impacts both socially, economically and heath wise. Allocation of time It is impossible to look at the determinants of leisure without reviewing the allocation of time for work. From time immemorial, the amount of time spent at work has never equaled the amount of time spent away from work. Most people spend almost all their time in the office or at work in general (Kate & Rickards, 2002). The craze and passion with which economic development is pursued in the world today does not allow for involvement in secular activities as much. This means that the allocation of non-working time and its efficiency are important for the economic welfare of a country. In 1965, almost everyone had similar amounts of spare time notwithstanding their socioeconomic status. However, this has changed with time given that leisure time just like income has increased across the board (Aguiar and Hurst, 2006: 19). Secondly, it is now apparent that the biggest winners in the allocation of leisure time are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. This is to mean that today the poor seem to have more leisure time than the rich do. This goes a long way to prove that leisure activities are not immune to economic life. A substantial increase in the quantity of leisure time in the United States between the years 1965 to 2003 according to research has been experienced. Research has it that, the number of hours away from work has increased by six to eight hours for men. That of women has increased by four to eight hours. The less educated individuals experienced the largest increase. The researches have also exposed the emerging inequality in leisure with regard to the growing inequality in income and expenditure. There were adjustments that necessitated the increase in leisure time. For men, it was due to the allocation of less time to the market sector while for women it was due to the decline for time allotted for home production (dcms, 2010). There was also change in leisure time according to the educational qualification of individuals in society. It emerged that while there was uniform increase across the educational status, the less educated had more leisure time as compared to their educated counterparts. The fact that the least ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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