Time and income poverty the needed link
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Time and income poverty. The needed link. Araceli Damián El Colegio de México. Maximum length of the working journey. At the end of the XIX century (1886) there were the first labour strikes (US) that claimed for a 8 hours working day

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Time and income poverty. The needed link

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Time and income poverty the needed link

Time and income poverty. The needed link

Araceli Damián

El Colegio de México


Maximum length of the working journey

Maximum length of the working journey

  • At the end of the XIX century (1886) there were the first labour strikes (US) that claimed for a 8 hours working day

  • Nowadays in many countries this human right is not fulfilled. In China, for example, there is some evidence that millions of workers in the export manufacture work between 12 to 16 hours per day, with only one day per month to rest


Time as a resource of satisfaction of needs

Time as a resource of satisfaction of needs

  • Time is money (Committee to evaluate the poverty measurement method in the US in 1995, 1977)

  • Poverty is often defined as a lack of money resources. Income is usually defined as command over resources.. Command over resources should for comparability at least include a measure of home production –which in turn depends on opportunity and time (Piachaud)

  • Time and household members abilities are the resources that households can use for paid activities and other tasks (quehaceres) (Oscar Altimir, ECLAC)

  • The lack of ‘free time’ after accounting for productive and reproductive activities is an indicator of the satisfaction of the autonomy need (Doyal and Gough)


Time as a resource

Time as a resource…

  • Recreation activities (to have a night out once a week), vacations (a week of vacations in the last 12 months), to have save time household appliances (laundry and dryer machines). All these indicators are used to measure deprivation (Townsend/Gordon)

  • Time for education, leisure, or domestic chores is seen as a restriction for labour participation by neoclassic economics (Becker, Bryant, Vickery, Haveman)

  • Time as a well-being resource and a key element for the human flourishing. It is also a satisfactor of human needs (Boltvinik).


An ideal household in capitalism

An “ideal” household in capitalism

  • Al members of the household are paid employees. All meals are consumed in restaurants, and all housework is performed by a paid domestic worker or by private companies. The time devoted to housework is equal to 0 (or almost 0), and time is only needed for consumption and paid work.

  • Problems in the model: time is needed to take care of children. Therefore family work is inevitable.

  • ‘Household is truly a “small factory” it combines capital goods, row materials and labour to clean, feed, procreate and otherwise produce useful commodities (Becker)


Pl 2 us dls per day per person

PL = 2 US dls per day per person

Ana and her son

(y = $ 2 USDlls p/p)

Juan, Inés and their son

(y = $ 2 USDlls p/p)


Time for human flourishing

Time for human flourishing

  • “Capabilities and human needs, developed in the past, are found, as fairies godmothers, in their objective form, at the head of the cod” (Giörgy Markus) Adults require time to help children to acquire the historical accumulative knowledge and capabilities.

  • Time is needed to fulfil all human needs to achieve self-realisation (Abraham Maslow). Hierarchy of human needs: 1) physiologic needs,; 2) security needs; 3) affection and love needs; 4) self-respect needs; 5) self-realization


Time poverty methodologies

Time poverty methodologies

  • US committees to evaluate the official poverty measurement methodology

    • Vickery (1977) Generalised poverty index (Becker) (PL)

    • Haveman (1977) Household capacity to earn income (PL)

    • Citro and Michel (1995) “time is money” (it is not clear how to measure the difference in the availability of time in different households)

  • UK budget standards

    • Bradshaw (ed., 1993) one parent households need to be compensated for the lack of free time and for the smaller amount of potential adult time devoted to children, compared with two parents household (PL)

  • Mexico

    • Boltvinik (1993) IPMM –Excess of working time index (EWI)


Vickery poverty standard

Vickery (poverty standard)

  • If the minimum nonpoor level of consumption requires both money and household production, then the official poverty standards do not correctly measure household needs

  • Identify those households that appear to have insufficient resources (time and income) to maintain the physical and mental well-being of their members.


Graph 1 time income threshold vickery

Graph 1. Time-income threshold (Vickery)


Time requirements vickery

Time requirements (Vickery)


Some problems of the vickery model

Some problems of the Vickery model

  • She has a minimalist approach on income and time

  • There are some households that have an excess of


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