DP6376 Hobbies, Skills and Incentives to Work: The Happy Gardener and the Wealthy Golfer

Author(s): Susanna Sällström
Publication Date: July 2007
Keyword(s): culture, education, hobbies, human capital, leisure, welfare
JEL(s): D13, J22, J24
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6376

Two of the earliest inventions of a human capital-intensive technology were for the production of personal internal goods that enabled humans to derive more pleasure out of leisure, namely dance and music. I model the incentives to invent hobbies and to acquire hobby skills, and its implications for the incentives to work and to acquire professional skills. This model explains the economic origins of culture. It was no accident that the intricate steps of tango emerged in the shabby quarters of Buenos Aires, and that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews was the initiative of 22 noble and gentlemen of Fife.