Wives’ Time

Another View


In the earlier examination of the household “pie,” it was possible to model household productive capacity through the metrics of household tasks and household time. This conceptualization was motivated by both opportunity and logic. No prior studies had employed comparable measures of both in analyses of household and market labor, and thus, the research design provided a unique data set. Moreover, a consideration of household labor as work demanded some formal acknowledgment of the fact that work time is “spent,” and that it is spent on (and through) discrete and discernible tasks. In fact, in Chapter 2, I likened household tasks and time to a difference of input and output; time became the input of “labor power,” and task the necessary form that labor must take to become realized as the output of household “commodities.” For example, when one sets out to wash a kitchen floor, the ultimate “commodity” (if we ignore intermediate products) may be a “clean floor.” But, the production of that discrete outcome requires the input of labor power, reflected through time.1 This chapter focuses on the individual inputs of the wives’ time: their daily minutes of employment and household work.


Household Member Exogenous Variable Total Household Household Labor Household Work 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

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