"Time to do chores?" Factoring home-production needs into measures of poverty
R. A. Douthitt
Currently, income is the only resource that the government takes into account when measuring poverty. But in order for a family to maintain an adequate standard of living, its members must not only have money, but the time to do certain kinds of work in the home: child care, food shopping, meal preparation, laundry, housecleaning, and the like. With this in mind, the author recalculates poverty rates using a method developed by Vickery (1977) in which time is factored in as a resource. She finds that poverty rates increase dramatically when time is factored in as a resource, because working parents, especially single parents, often do not have enough time to perform essential tasks. Data are from the 1985 American Time Use survey.
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