Exploring the Approaches to Measure the Value of Household Work: An Experience from Pakistan
Keywords:Labor Economics, Economics of Gender, Household Economics, Opportunity Cost
The purpose of this research is to fill the gap in the knowledge by estimating the value of time spent on household work especially by women i.e study aims to assess the economic worth of time. Specifically, the objective of this research is to estimate the value of time using two approaches, the one estimating opportunity cost and the other estimating the market price/value of household work. The value of time is estimated for different types of household activities. In addition, the study also assesses the determinants responsible for accelerating the opportunity cost and market value of time during the past three decades in Pakistan as well critically study assess why the household is not diverting its human capital towards the paid employment though the value of time has increased substantially. The determinants mainly focus on personal and demographic characteristics as these factors are responsible to keep the individuals engaged in household activity. The determinants are explored using Pooled OLS. Results show that the opportunity cost of household work performed by male and female worth around Rs.26,082/week and Rs.155,126/week; whereas the market price of male and female are estimated around Rs.22,908/week and Rs.63,813/week respectively. Further, the results of this study confirm that the opportunity cost of all non-market activities is greater than the market value indicating that the work performed by individual at home(necessary to be performed) should be recognized as it has substantial economic worth. Hence this research contributes to knowledge by enhancing the understanding of policymakers about the economic contribution made especially by women through household work – that often remain unaccountable.
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