, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 7-22

“Time to Do the Chores?” Factoring Home-Production Needs into Measures of Poverty

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Currently, income is the only resource that the government uses to measure poverty. However, in order for a family to maintain an adequate standard of living, its members must have the money and the time to do certain kinds of work in the home, such as child care, food shopping, meal preparation, laundry, housecleaning, and other similar household tasks. In this article, poverty rates are recalculated using a method developed by Vickery (1977) in which time is incorporated as a resource. Findings show that poverty rates increase dramatically when time is incorporated 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.