The Disability Gap in Time Use in the United States

Carrie L. Shandra, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)

Individuals with disabilities experience constraints to human, social, and health capital that affect their daily lives and use of time. However, this “disability gap” in time use remains unexamined in the U.S. This study uses the American Time Use Survey and Oaxaca-Blinder methodology to estimate time in market work, nonmarket work, tertiary activities, and leisure among 35,924 working-aged men and women. In doing so, it: 1) examines differences in contributors to time use for adults with and without disabilities, 2) quantifies the disability gap net of these contributors, and 3) decomposes the disability gap by health, household, and sociodemographic characteristics. The significant gap in market, tertiary, and leisure time is primarily exacerbated by health, followed by income and education. Household composition has a gap-narrowing effect on market work, as does marital status for women. Thus, health and social disparities are both important for explaining how disability shapes time use differentials.

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 Presented in Session P5. Adult Health and Mortality