measurement and valuation of unpaid care work
About half of all the time devoted to work in the U.S. is devoted to unpaid work in the home.
If there was ever a time we urgently needed to know more about time use, that time has come. The Covid-19 pandemic utterly changed daily rhythms for many sequestered households and the “opening up” process closed down some old routines.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, unpaid work served not only as a social safety net, but also as an automatic stabilizer.
A lean, bald-pated, drawling political strategist from Louisiana named James Carville helped Bill Clinton win an election in 1992 by reminding campaign staff of the importance of “the economy, stupid.”
17th International Experts Meeting on Time Use and XX International Meeting on Gender Statistics, September 10-13, 2019, in Aguascalientes, Mexico
The lazy father is enshrined in popular culture. Google up the term and there he is: Homer Simpson snoring on the couch. Unfair caricature, especially on Fathers’ Day!
I am gearing up to attend the annual meetings of the Indian Society of Labour Economics in Mumbai, with support from the Canadian International Development Research Centre.
This new book by Jerry Z. Muller (Princeton University Press, 2018) does a great job explaining what happens when policy makers rely too heavily on simplistic measures of performance.
Most introductory economics texts assume that most of the work performed in the U.S. takes place in profit-maximizing firms. One important exception is Understanding Capitalism.
I think that estimates of the market value of non-market work are a worthwhile exercise (as my last two posts suggest) as long as they are done carefully and presented as an approximate lower-bound. But conceptual resistance to valuation remains remarkably fierce–which is a big reason we don’t see more of it.
Fortunately, the American Time Use Survey includes a question that asked respondents to indicate times when a child under the age of 13 was “in your care.” This makes it possible to measure the amount of time devoted to supervisory child care.