Hewlett Foundation–Levy Institute Project

Women’s economic empowerment and control over time: a macro-, meso-, and micro-level study of the determinants of women’s control over their time in sub-Saharan Africa
 



Funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The aim of this research project is to examine the interrelationships between the income that women generate, how they generate that income, and the wealth that women hold with their control over their own time. This project uses a multicountry (Ethiopia Ghana, Mali, South Africa, and Tanzania) and multilevel study design to examine women’s economic empowerment through the lens of their control over time spent on income-generating activities, household production activities, and personal care. The research process and uptake initiatives include research partnerships with scholars from the region, two policy roundtables and one capacity-building workshop in the region, and joint publications with regional research partners.
 

Research Briefs

Research Brief No. 1, February 17, 2021
Research Brief No. 2, July 7, 2021

Related Publications

  • Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa
    Gender disparity in the division of responsibilities for unpaid care and domestic work (household production) is a central and pervasive component of inequalities between men and women and boys and girls. Reducing disparity in household production figures as one element of the goal of gender equality enshrined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and feminist scholars and political activists have articulated that the redistribution of household production responsibilities from females to males is important for its own sake, as well as for achieving gender equality in labor market outcomes. A cursory examination of available cross-country data indicates that higher per capita GDP—the neoliberal panacea for most societal malaise—provides little bulwark against the gender inequality in household production.
     
    Ajit Zacharias, Thomas Masterson, Fernando Rios-Avila, and Abena D. Oduro contribute to the literature on the intrahousehold distribution of household production by placing the question within a framework of analyzing deprivation, applying that framework to better understand the interactions between poverty and the gendered division of labor in four sub-Saharan African nations: Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania. Central to their framework is the notion that attaining a minimal standard of living requires command over an adequate basket of commodities and sufficient time to be spent on home production, where meeting those requirements produces benefits for all—including those beyond the household.
     
    Their findings motivate questions regarding the feasibility and effectiveness of redistribution of household responsibilities to alleviate time deficits and their impoverishing effects. By developing a framework to assess the mechanics of redistribution among family members and applying it to gender-based redistribution, they derive the maximum extent to which redistribution—either among all family members, between sexes, or between husbands and wives—can lower the incidence of time deficits. The conclude with a discussion of alternative principles of distributing household production responsibilities among family members and examine their impact on the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTCP) and discuss some policy questions in light of their findings.

  • Working Paper No. 983 | February 2021
    A Comparative Analysis for Sub-Saharan African Countries
    In this working paper, we analyze factors that may explain gender differences in the allocation of time to household production in sub-Saharan Africa. The study uses time use survey data to analyze the determinants of time spent on household production by husbands and wives in nuclear families in Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, and South Africa. We assume that the time spent by each spouse is a function of personal and household characteristics. A bivariate Tobit model is used to estimate the marginal impact of a set of key variables that figure recurrently in the literature on time allocation. We observe a high degree of variability in the results for the set of countries, which does not allow us to draw hard general conclusions. We do find some weak evidence that supports time availability and gender ideology theory as well as for the hypothesis that bargaining power plays a role in explaining the intrahousehold allocation of household production.

  • Working Paper No. 970 | September 2020
    This paper presents a description of the quality of match of the statistical matches used in the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty (LIMTCP) estimates prepared for Ethiopia and South Africa. For Ethiopia, the statistical match combines the Ethiopian Socio-economic Survey—Wave 3—2015/2016 (ESS) with the Ethiopian Time Use Survey (ETUS) 2013. For South Africa it combines the October Household Survey (OHS) 1998 with the time use data obtained from the SA-Time Use Survey (SATUS) 2000, and the South African Living Conditions Survey (SALCS) 2014/2015 with the SATUS 2010. In all cases, the alignment of the two datasets is examined, after which various aspects of the match quality are described. Despite the differences in the survey years, the quality of match for South Africa is high and the synthetic dataset appropriate for the time poverty analysis. For Ethiopia, due to data quality differences, we restrict the analysis to married couple households with an employed spouse and young children. Conditioning on the restriction and sample reweighting, the Ethiopian synthetic dataset seems appropriate for the time poverty analysis.

  • Research Project Reports | September 2019
    A Macro-Micro Policy Model for Ghana and Tanzania
     
    Feminist economics has long emphasized the role of physical and social infrastructure as determinants of the time women spend on household production (the provision of unpaid domestic services and care). Surprisingly, there is a lack of studies that directly investigate how infrastructure improvements affect the time spent on household production and commuting to work, which is another important unpaid activity for most employed individuals. We attempt to fill the lacunae in the research by studying this issue in the context of Ghana and Tanzania utilizing the framework of the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty. Separately, while there are several studies (including those done previously at the Levy Institute) on the macroeconomic impacts of government expenditures on care, these assessments tend to be based primarily on employment multipliers along with simple macroeconomic assumptions. We develop a disaggregated and fully articulated macroeconomic model based on the social accounting matrices for the two countries to take account of the intersectoral linkages and external constraints, such as balance of payments, that are particularly important for many developing nations, including Ghana and Tanzania. The macro- and microeconomic aspects are integrated in a unified analytical framework via a top-down disaggregated macroeconomic model with microsimulation that is novel in that it enables the investigation of the gendered economic processes and outcomes at the macroeconomic and microeconomic levels.

  • The Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty
    Time constraints that stem from the overlapping domains of paid and unpaid work are of central concern to the debates surrounding the economic development of developing countries in general and countries of sub-Saharan Africa in particular. Time deficits due to household production are especially acute in these countries due to the poor state of social and physical infrastructure, which constrains the time allocation people can choose.

    Standard measures of poverty fail to capture hardships caused by time deficits. This report applies a methodological approach that incorporates time deficits into the measurement of poverty, known as the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty (LIMTCP), to the cases of Ghana and Tanzania. The LIMTCP explicitly recognizes the role of time constraints and, as such, has the potential to meaningfully inform the design of policies aimed at poverty reduction and improvement of individual and household well-being. The analysis of simulation exercises assessing the impact of paid employment provision on official and LIMTCP poverty rates has strong implications for policies aimed at poverty reduction, emphasizing the need to account for alleviating not only income but also time constraints. It also has strong gender relevance, as time poverty is more relevant for women due to their disproportionate burden of household responsibilities. Our study argues that policies aimed at improving women’s labor market outcomes can also succeed at improving their well-being only if time constraints are addressed.

  • Policy Notes No. 4 | May 2018
    Some Lessons from Ghana and Tanzania
    In this policy note, Thomas Masterson and Ajit Zacharias address the nexus between wage employment, consumption poverty, and time deficits in the context of Ghana and Tanzania. Based on a recently completed research project supported by the Hewlett Foundation, the authors apply the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty (LIMTCP) to estimate whether the jobs that are likely to be available to potential employment-seeking, working-age individuals in consumption-poor households—who are predominantly female in both countries—can serve as vehicles of “economic empowerment.” They investigate this question using two indicators of empowerment, asking (1) whether the individual would be able to move their household to at least a minimal level of consumption via the additional earnings from their new job and (2) whether the individual would be deprived of the time required to meet the minimal needs of care for themselves (personal care), their homes, and their dependents.

  • Working Paper No. 873 | September 2016

    This document presents a description of the quality of match of the statistical matches used in the LIMTCP estimates prepared for Ghana and Tanzania. For Ghana, the statistical match combines the Living Standards Survey Round 6 (GLSS6) with the Ghana Time Use Survey (GTUS) 2009, and for Tanzania it combines the Household Budget Survey (THBS) 2012 with the time-use data obtained from the Integrated Labor Survey Module (ILFS) 2006. In both cases, the alignment of the two datasets is examined, after which various aspects of the match quality are described. Despite the differences in the survey years, the quality of match is high and the synthetic dataset appropriate for the time poverty analysis.

  • Working Paper No. 871 | August 2016

    New methodology for producing employment microsimulations is introduced, with a focus on farms and household nonfarm enterprises. Previous simulations have not dealt with the issue of reduced production in farm and nonfarm household enterprises when household members are placed in paid employment. In this paper, we present a method for addressing the tradeoff between paid employment and the farm and nonfarm business activities individuals may already be engaged in. The implementation of the simulations for Ghana and Tanzania is described and the quality of the simulation results is assessed.

  • Working Paper No. 865 | May 2016
    Why Time Deficits Matter

    We describe the production of estimates of the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP) for Buenos Aires, Argentina, and use it to analyze the incidence of time and income poverty. We find high numbers of hidden poor—those who are not poor according to the official measure but are found to be poor when using our time-adjusted poverty line. Large time deficits for those living just above the official poverty line are the reason for this hidden poverty. Time deficits are unevenly distributed by employment status, family type, and especially gender. Simulations of the impact of full-time employment on those households with nonworking (for pay) adults indicate that reductions in income poverty can be achieved, but at the cost of increased time poverty. Policy interventions that address the lack of both income and time are discussed.

  • The Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty
    This report presents findings from a joint project of the Levy Economics Institute and the Korea Employment Information Service, with the central objective of developing a measure of time and income poverty for Korea that takes into account household production (unpaid work) requirements. Standard measurements of poverty assume that all households have enough time to adequately attend to the needs of household members—including, for example, caring for children. But this assumption is false. For numerous reasons, some households may not have sufficient time, and they thus experience “time deficits.” If a household officially classified as nonpoor has such a time deficit and cannot afford to cover it by buying market substitutes (e.g., hiring a care provider), that household will encounter hardships not reflected in the official poverty measure.To get a more accurate calculus of poverty, we developed the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP), a two-dimensional measure that takes into account both the necessary income and the household production time needed to achieve a minimum living standard. In the case of Korea, our estimates for 2008 (the last year for which data are available) show that the LIMTIP poverty rate of employed households was almost three times higher than the official poverty rate (7.5 percent versus 2.6 percent). The gap between the official and LIMTIP poverty rates was notably higher for “nonemployed male head with employed spouse,” “single female-headed” and “dual-earner” households. Our estimates of the size of the hidden poor—roughly two million individuals—suggest that ignoring time deficits in household production resulted in a serious undercount of the working poor, which has profound consequences for the formulation of policy. In addition, the stark gender disparity in the incidence of time poverty among the employed, even after controlling for hours of employment, suggests that the source of the gender difference in time poverty lies in the greater share of the household production activities that women undertake. Overall, current policies to promote gender equality and economic well-being in Korea need to be reconsidered, based on a deeper understanding of the linkages between the functioning of labor markets, unpaid household production activities, and existing arrangements of social provisioning—including social care provisioning.

  • Public Policy Brief No. 136 | August 2014
    Assessing the Korean Experience Using the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty
    In partnership with the Korea Employment Information Service, Senior Scholar Ajit Zacharias and Research Scholars Thomas Masterson and Kijong Kim investigate the complex issues of gender, changing labor market conditions, and the public provisioning of child care in Korea using the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP), an alternative measure that factors in both time and income deficits in the assessment of poverty.Since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, lifetime employment and single-breadwinner households have given way to increased job insecurity, flexible work arrangements, and rapid growth in dual-earner households in Korea. Add to these factors rising labor force participation by women but little change in the highly unequal division of household production, and many women effectively face a double shift each day: paid employment followed by a second shift of household production.Recognizing the implications of the heavy burden of care work for women’s well-being and employment, Korea introduced public child-care provisioning, via a voucher system for low-income families, in 1992 (the program became universal in 2013). This study analyzes the impact of the voucher program on reducing time and income poverty, and reassesses the overall level of poverty in Korea. While it reveals a much higher level of poverty than official estimates indicate—7.9 percent versus 2.6 percent—due to time deficits, the outsourcing of child-care services reduced the LIMTIP rate from 7.9 percent to 7.5 percent and the number of “hidden poor” individuals from two million to 1.8 million. While these results show that the problem of time poverty in Korea extends beyond child-care needs, the impact of public provisioning through the voucher program clearly has had a positive impact on families with children.The main findings and policy recommendations resulting from this study are presented in detail in the research project report The Measurement of Time and Income Poverty in Korea: The Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty. 

  • Public Policy Brief No. 132 | May 2014
    Gauging the severity of poverty in a given country requires a reasonably comprehensive measurement of whether individuals and households are surpassing some basic threshold of material well-being. This would seem to be an obvious point, and yet, in most cases, our official poverty metrics fail that test, often due to a crucial omission. In this policy brief, Senior Scholar Ajit Zacharias, Research Scholar Thomas Masterson, and Research Associate Emel Memiş  present an alternative measure of poverty for Turkey and lay out the policy lessons that follow. Their research reveals that the number of people living in poverty and the severity of their deprivation have been significantly underestimated. This report is part of an ongoing Levy Institute project on time poverty (the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty), which has produced research on Latin America, Korea, and now Turkey, with the aim of extending this approach to other countries.

  • The Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty for Turkey

    Official poverty lines in Turkey and other countries often ignore the fact that unpaid household production activities that contribute to the fulfillment of material needs and wants are essential for the household to reproduce itself as a unit. This omission has consequences. Taking household production for granted when measuring poverty yields an unacceptably incomplete picture, and therefore estimates based on such an omission provide inadequate guidance to policymakers.

    Standard measurements of poverty assume that all households and individuals have enough time to adequately attend to the needs of household members—including, for example, children. These tasks are absolutely necessary for attaining a minimum standard of living. But this assumption is false. For numerous reasons, some households may not have sufficient time, and they thus experience what are referred to as “time deficits.” If a household officially classified as nonpoor has a time deficit and cannot afford to cover it by buying market substitutes (e.g., hire a care provider), that household will encounter hardships not reflected in the official poverty measure. To get a more accurate calculus of poverty, we have developed the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty (LIMTCP), a two-dimensional measure that takes into account both the necessary consumption expenditures and household production time needed to achieve a minimum living standard.

  • Working Paper No. 793 | March 2014

    The quality of match of the statistical match used in the LIMTIP estimates for South Korea in 2009 is described. The match combines the 2009 Korean Time Use Survey (KTUS 2009) with the 2009 Korean Welfare Panel Study (KWPS 2009). The alignment of the two datasets is examined, after which various aspects of the match quality are described. The match is of high quality, given the nature of the source datasets. The method used to simulate employment response to availability of jobs in the situation in which child-care subsidies are available is described. Comparisons of the donor and recipient groups for each of three stages of hot-deck statistical matching are presented. The resulting distribution of jobs, earnings, usual hours of paid employment, household production hours, and use of child-care services are compared to the distribution in the donor pools. The results do not appear to be anomalous, which is the best that can be said of the results of such a procedure.

  • One-Pager No. 46 | February 2014
    The Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty (LIMTCP) is a two-dimensional measure that takes into account both the necessary consumption expenditures and the household production time needed to achieve a minimum standard of living—factors often ignored in official poverty measures. In the case of Turkey, application of the LIMTCP reveals an additional 7.6 million people living in poverty, resulting in a poverty rate that is a full 10 percentage points higher than the official rate of 30 percent. 

  • Working Paper No. 769 | July 2013

    The quality of match of the statistical match used in the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Consumption Poverty (LIMTCP) estimates for Turkey in 2006 is described. The match combines the 2006 Zaman Kullanim Anketi (ZKA 2006) with the 2006 Hanehalki Bütçe Anketi (HBA 2006). These are the national time-use survey and household income and expenditure surveys, respectively. The alignment of the two datasets is examined, after which various aspects of the match quality are detailed. The match is of high quality, given the nature of the source datasets.

    The quality of the simulation of employment gains for Turkey in 2006 is then described. All eligible adults not working for pay, as employers, or as unpaid household workers were assigned jobs. In all households that included job recipients, the time spent on household production was imputed for everyone included in the time-use survey. Household consumption was then assigned to each household in the simulation containing a job recipient. The recipient group was compared to the donor group, both in terms of demographic similarity and in terms of the imputed usual hours, earnings, and household production generated in the simulation. In both cases, the simulations were of reasonable quality, given the nature of the challenges in assessing their quality.

  • In the Media | April 2013
    Latin America and Gender Equality Bulletin (UNDP), April 2013. All Rights Reserved.

    In this interview, Rania Antonopoulos, a senior scholar and co-author of the research project report “Why Time Deficits Matter: Implications for the Measurement of Poverty,” discusses the importance of combining income and time poverty measurements in order to reach an effective reduction of poverty and promote more egalitarian societies.
  • In the Media | March 2013
    Cómo usar la información de uso del tiempo para informar a las políticas de reducción de la pobreza con perspectiva de género
    Latin America and Gender Equality Bulletin (UNDP), March 2013. All Rights Reserved.
     Desde que la Plataforma para la Acción de Beijing instara a los países a relevar encuestas de uso del tiempo para medir “cuantitativamente el valor del trabajo no remunerado que no se incluye en las cuentas nacionales, por ejemplo, el cuidado de los familiares a cargo y la preparación de alimentos”, el levantamiento de encuestas de uso del tiempo ha avanzado sin pausa en los países en desarrollo. En nuestra región, un importante número de países han recolectado información de uso del tiempo, con variadas metodologías y alcances.

    Puede decirse que México y Uruguay muestran los avances más sostenidos en este campo, ya que han levantado o están por levantar su tercera encuesta de uso del tiempo. Pero no están solos: en los últimos años Argentina (en Buenos Aires y en Rosario), Bolivia, Brasil, Costa Rica (en la Gran Área Metropolitana), Colombia, Chile (en Gran Santiago), Ecuador, Panamá, Perú y Venezuela han levantado encuestas de uso del tiempo. Aquellas de las que se conocen los resultados –algunas son muy recientes, como la de Venezuela, o están en campo, como la de Colombia– muestran que las mujeres realizan más trabajo doméstico y de cuidados que los varones, en particular las madres de hijas e hijos pequeños y las ocupadas, y que mujeres y varones provenientes de hogares pobres por ingresos realizan más trabajo doméstico y de cuidados que quienes provienen de hogares no pobres.

    La Plataforma para la Acción de Beijing asocia de manera muy clara la visibilización, medición, y valoración del trabajo doméstico y de cuidados a su incorporación en las cuentas nacionales –comparables al Producto Bruto Interno– a través de cuentas satélites. Esto implica reconocer que el trabajo doméstico y de cuidados “expande” el ingreso nacional, y por lo tanto el bienestar.

    El nivel “macro” de análisis tiene su correlato a nivel micro.

    El consumo de los hogares es superior a sus gastos en bienes y servicios, ya que el trabajo doméstico y de cuidados no remunerado que se realiza en ellos expande las posibilidades de consumo de sus miembros. La valoración de los “servicios” que brinda el trabajo doméstico y de cuidados complementa el ingreso monetario, y brinda una medida “ampliada” del bienestar.

    El consumo de los hogares es superior a sus gastos en bienes y servicios, ya que el trabajo doméstico y de cuidados no remunerado que se realiza en ellos expande las posibilidades de consumo de sus miembros. La valoración de los “servicios” que brinda el trabajo doméstico y de cuidados complementa el ingreso monetario, y brinda una medida “ampliada” del bienestar.

    Si en las medidas de pobreza absoluta, la medición de requerimientos de ingresos no implica que el hogar (o las personas) estén efectivamente consumiendo la canasta de pobreza, sino sólo que tengan los ingresos para adquirirla, el establecimiento de un requerimiento de tiempo implica determinar si las personas (y por lo tanto los hogares en que viven) podrían realizar el trabajo doméstico y de cuidados necesario para vivir con la canasta de pobreza (dada la estructura de los hogares, el tiempo de trabajo remunerado, y la distribución intra-hogar del trabajo doméstico y de cuidados),  no que efectivamente lo estén realizando. Si “no les alcanza el tiempo”, entonces tienen “déficits” que las hacen pobres de tiempo.

    Si el ingreso del hogar alcanza para compensar el valor de estos déficits, entonces, serán pobres de tiempo pero no de ingreso “ajustado”. Pero si el ingreso no alcanza para comprar sustitutos de estos déficits, entonces las personas y los hogares en que habitan serán pobres de tiempo e ingresos. La medida de pobreza de ingreso y tiempo LIMTIP no hace otra cosa que corregirlas medidas de pobreza absoluta que estamos acostumbradas y acostumbrados a utilizar, para hacerlas más fieles a sus supuestos.Con una notable excepción, especialmente bienvenida si, además de las diferencias de ingreso nos preocupan las diferencias de género y la desigual división sexual del trabajo: mientras que en las medidas de pobreza de ingreso se supone que al interior del hogar la distribución del consumo es “justa” (acorde a las necesidades), y que un hogar pobre lo es porque no alcanza a cubrir en conjunto un nivel de consumo mínimo, en la medida LIMTIP no se realiza ningún supuesto, sino que se toma la distribución del trabajo doméstico y de cuidados del observada en el hogar. Y los déficits de tiempo se calculan a nivel individual, no conjunto, y por lo tanto no se “compensan” entre miembros del hogar.

    Aunque este último es un supuesto fuerte, no tomarlo implicaría borrar una diferencia de género crucial, que además conocemos. Podría argumentarse que la medida LIMTIP combina dos modos muy distintos de medir la pobreza –el ingreso a nivel hogar, el tiempo a nivel individual. Pero no se hace porque se esté de acuerdo con el modo en que se mide la pobreza por ingresos, sino porque no tenemos, todavía, una mejor medida del consumo de bienes y servicios remunerados al interior de los hogares.

    La medida de pobreza LIMTIP permite conjugar, como ninguna otra hasta el momento, dos mandatos de la Plataforma para la Acción de Beijing, que no por casualidad, aparecen a continuación uno del otro: “hacer evidente la desigualdad en la distribución del trabajo remunerado y el no remunerado entre mujeres y varones” y “perfeccionar los conceptos y métodos de obtención de datos sobre la medición de la pobreza entre hombres y mujeres”. Hacia allí estamos trabajando.
  • Research Project Reports | December 2012
    Revisiting Poverty Measurement, Informing Policy Responses

    This report is published as part of the “Undoing Knots, Innovating for Change” series, issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean through its Gender Practice Area. It includes findings from a UNDP-supported research project undertaken in 2011 by the Levy Economics Institute with the objective of proposing an alternative to official income poverty measures, one that takes into account household production (unpaid work) requirements—an issue still largely ignored by official poverty estimates. This has significant consequences for policymaking. The resulting Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty is a two-dimensional measure that jointly tracks income gaps and time deficits. Using this alternative measure, the authors present selected results of empirical estimates of poverty and compare them with official income poverty rates for Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, with a focus on the study's policy implications.

  • Public Policy Brief No. 126 | November 2012
    Why Time Deficits Matter for Poverty

    We cannot adequately assess how much or how little progress we have made in addressing the condition of the most vulnerable in our societies, or provide accurate guidance to policymakers intent on improving each individual’s and household’s ability to reach a basic standard of living, if we do not have a reliable means of measuring who is being left behind. With the support of the United Nations Development Programme and the International Labour Organization, Senior Scholars Rania Antonopoulos and Ajit Zacharias and Research Scholar Thomas Masterson have constructed an alternative measure of poverty that, when applied to the cases of Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, reveals significant blind spots in the official numbers.

  • One-Pager No. 34 | October 2012
    The Importance of Time Deficits

    Standard poverty measurements assume that all households and individuals have enough time to engage in the unpaid cooking, cleaning, and caregiving that are essential to attaining a bare-bones standard of living. But this assumption is false. With the support of the United Nations Development Programme and the International Labour Organization, Senior Scholars Rania Antonopoulos and Ajit Zacharias and Research Scholar Thomas Masterson have constructed an alternative measure of poverty that, when applied to the cases of Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, reveals significant blind spots in the official numbers.

  • Implications for the Measurement of Poverty

    Customarily, income poverty incidence is judged by the ability of individuals and households to gain access to some level of minimum income based on the premise that such access ensures the fulfillment of basic material needs. However, this approach neglects to take into account the necessary (unpaid) household production requirements without which basic needs cannot be fulfilled. In fact, the two are interdependent and evaluation of standards of living ought to consider both dimensions.

    This report provides an analytical and empirical framework that includes unpaid household production work in the very conceptualization and calculations of poverty: the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP). Based on this new analytical framework, empirical estimates of poverty are presented and compared with those calculated according to the official income poverty lines for Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. In addition, an employment-generating poverty-reduction policy is simulated in each country, and the results are assessed using the official and LIMTIP poverty lines.

    The undertaking of this work was initiated as a result of joint discussions and collaboration between the Levy Economics Institute and United Nations Development Programme Regional Service Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly the Gender Practice, Poverty, and Millennium Development Goals areas. It addresses an identified need to expand the knowledge base, conceptually, analytically, and empirically, on the links between (official) income poverty and the time allocation of households between paid and unpaid work.

    Supporting documents:
    Executive Summary
    Appendices
    Excel Tables for Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5

  • Working Paper No. 727 | July 2012

    The method for simulation of labor market participation used in the LIMTIP models for Argentina, Chile, and Mexico is described. In each case, all eligible adults not working full-time were assigned full-time jobs. In all households that included job recipients, the time spent on household production was imputed for everyone included in the time-use survey. The feasibility of assessing the quality of the simulations is discussed. For each simulation, the recipient group is compared to the donor group, both in terms of demographic similarity and in terms of the imputed usual hours, earnings, and household production produced in the simulation. In each case, the simulations are of reasonable quality, given the nature of the challenges in assessing their quality.

  • Working Paper No. 692 | October 2011

    The quality of match of three statistical matches used in the LIMTIP estimates for Argentina, Chile, and Mexico is described. The first match combines the 2005 Uso del Tiempo (UT 2005) with the 2006 Encuesto Annual de Hogares (EAH) for Argentina. The second match combines the 2007 Encuesta Experimental sobre Uso del Tiempo en el Gran Santiago (EUT 2007) with the 2006 Encuesta Caracteristización Socioeconómica Nacional (CASEN 2006) for Chile. The third match combines the 2008 Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares (ENIGH 2008) with the 2009 Encuesta Nacional sobre Uso del Tiempo (ENUT 2009) for Mexico. In each case, the alignment of the two datasets is examined, after which various aspects of the match quality are described. In each case, the matches are of high quality, given the nature of the source datasets.

  • Working Paper No. 690 | October 2011

    Official poverty thresholds are based on the implicit assumption that the household with poverty-level income possesses sufficient time for household production to enable it to reproduce itself as a unit. Several authors have questioned the validity of the assumption and explored alternative methods to account for time deficits in the measurement of poverty. I critically review the alternative approaches within a unified framework to highlight the commonalities and relative merits of individual approaches. I also propose a two-dimensional, time-income poverty measure that accounts for intrahousehold disparities in the division of household labor and briefly discuss its uses in thinking about antipoverty policies.

  • Working Paper No. 600 | May 2010
    This study is concerned with the measurement of poverty in the context of developing countries. We argue that poverty rankings must take into account time use dimensions of paid and unpaid work jointly. Reviewing the current state of the literature on this topic, our methodology introduces a critical but missing analytical distinction between time poverty and time deprivation. On this basis, we proceed to provide empirical evidence by using South African time use survey data compiled in 2000. Our findings show that existing methods that work well for advanced countries require modification when adopted in the case of a developing country. The results identify a group of adults who previously were inadvertently missing, as they were considered "time wealthy."

Levy Scholars


Country Partners


Research Advisory Council

Ethiopia
Samson Adane
Ankets Petros
Minyamir Yitayih


Ghana
Patricia Blankson Akakpo
Madam Efua Anayanful
Madam Emma Ofori-Agyemang


Mali
Sadou Doumbo
Madam Aoua Saran Dembele
Madam Maiga Sina Damba


South Africa
Dr. Nthabiseng Moleko
Sbusi Sibeko


Tanzania
Lilian Liundi
Nanadera Mhando
Amadeus Kamagenge

Events