Multinational Time Use Study
Professor Jonathan Gershuny first developed the Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) in the mid 1970s. While working at the University of Bath with Sally Jones, Professor Gershuny developed a single dataset with common series of background variables and total time spent per day in 41 activities. The original MTUS allowed comparison of British time use data with the 1965 Szalai Multinational Time Budget Study and data from Canada and Denmark. The MTUS since has grown to offer harmonised episode and context information and to encompass over 60 datasets from 25 countries, including recent data from the HETUS, ATUS, and other national level time use projects. Professor Gershuny and Dr Kimberly Fisher presently manage the study in collaboration with other time use scholars.
This site provides access to the MTUS data and documentation, and offers advice on the use of this dataset.
At present we are undertaking a wholesale upgrade of the MTUS. This includes removing some less used variables, adding new variables, new surveys, and upgrading the documentation. You will see a number of changes on this area of the CTUR website over the next few months. These changes will include the introduction of survey metadata variables alongside the time diary variables. Please bare with us while these changes are added. At this time, the new documentation has been uploaded.
American Heritage Time Use Study
The American Heritage Time Use Study, a database of national time-diary samples collected over six decades, includes harmonised background, activity, location, mode of transport and who else was present variables. The AHTUS is suitable for a wide range of investigative purposes.
As these data are freely available to the research community, we ask the help of users to make programmes and publications developed using this data available to other users. Kindly email such material to the AHTUS Team.
The initial development of this project allowing release 1 in May 2006 was conducted under an agreement with Yale University (Program on Non-Market Accounts), and was sponsored by the Glaser Progress Foundation. Some amendments to this dataset made from December 2005 through December 2011 were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. From January 2012 through December 2015, further additions and upgrades to the AHTUS have been funded by a combination of grants provided by the Economic and Social Research Council and the US National Institutes of Health.
Time is experienced as a continuous stream of sensations, but may be recalled as a sequence of discrete events whose starts and ends are associated with clock times. The durations of events can subsequently be calculated from these recalled sequences (these calculations are only rarely made by the actors themselves—implying that we are normally unaware of our own totals of elapsed time devoted to our own activities). Time diaries are continuous logs of event sequences, usually constructed retrospectively, for randomly selected prescribed periods, usually of a single day.
The CTUR uses a large collection of these diaries, from more than 25 countries, and covering the early 1960s to the present, to develop new sorts of socio-economic theory, combining time and money indicators (wage rates), as well as longitudinal evidence from panel and cohort studies. It draws on a broader base of empirical evidence than is usual in studies of social change, to provide new answers to pressing questions about the evolution of the work/leisure and paid/unpaid work balances, the implications of these for health and wellbeing, and how they vary by country, age, gender and possession of material resources.
Our aim is to arrive at a well-coordinated scientific approach to the understanding of time allocation, founded on the very best historical and cross-national comparative evidence, which starts at the micro-sequential level of individuals’ everyday life and builds progressively to a macro understanding of social change. We seek innovative models of the determinants of the balances among the various sorts of work and leisure, based on observations of how representative samples of people spend their time.
Primary time use research is an intrinsic part of our overall time-use programme. Click here to see a summary of our work.
Additionally, we have a number of separately funded projects, including :