A Measure Whose Time has Come: Formalizing Time Poverty

Williams, Jason R.; Masuda, Yuta J.; Tallis, Heather
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SourceWeb of Science
Volume / Issue128 / 1
Pages265 - 283
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Publication Date16-Aug
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AbstractPoverty remains a primary public policy issue, and a large literature has discussed the limitations of an income poverty measure. Using income as an indicator of poverty is a helpful simplification designed to capture ability to meet consumption needs. We argue that time is a basic economic resource allocated to create well-being along with income. Time is a scarce resource that individuals and households must allocate to produce goods, obtain services, and pursue rest and relaxation. Time poverty has been proposed as a complement to income poverty, yet it remains a relatively unknown measure in both policy and research spheres. The many ways time poverty is conceptualized and measured across studies has limited its adoption. To help familiarize readers with time poverty, we apply basic tenets of income poverty measurement to time. We conduct a survey of the theoretical and empirical literature discussing similarities, differences, and the pros and cons of different approaches to time poverty. In particular, inconsistent definition and categorization of necessary and discretionary time has been a barrier to the transparent application of time poverty in the literature, and we outline guidance on defining necessary and discretionary time for future studies. Finally, we outline future research directions for time poverty.
Created: 12/14/2017 10:29 AM (ET)
Modified: 12/14/2017 10:29 AM (ET)
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