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Casey Rodgers/AP

Twenty-something men are working many fewer hours than they did a decade and a half ago, according to a new study, and the biggest reason is that they prefer to play video games.

Men aged 21-30 worked 12% fewer hours in 2015 than they did in 2000, according to the study, published Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and about half the reason is the time they spend gaming.

Why it matters: The results suggest that reduced work for prime-age men is not just or even mostly because they can't find jobs or sufficient hours. It's that, rather than accept what is out there, they choose the contemporary equivalent of hanging out at the pool hall or the race track. In fact, in 2015, roughly 15% of young men worked zero weeks over the year, nearly double the rate in 2000.

Meaning in life: The NBER findings, originally flagged last year, say that the decline in work hours by men 21-30 almost exactly mirrored their time spent on leisure — mostly video gaming. In the New York Times, Jane McGonigal, a video game scholar, suggested that games offer this young cohort something lacking in available jobs — a meaning to life, specifically that "I'm trying to improve this skill, teammates are counting on me, and my online community is relying on me."

  • A lot more men in this age group are living with their parents or some other close relative -- 35% of them in 2015, compared with 23% in 2000.
  • But they are not unhappy or aimless, according to Erik Hurst, one of the paper's authors. Their attitude, he tells the Times, may be, "why not have a little fun in your 20s and work in your 80s?"

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel almost resigned over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel almost resigned in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelations stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.