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Time Pressed and Time Poor: Unpaid Household Work in Guatemala


  • Sarah Gammage


This study examines unpaid work in the household in Guatemala using data from a national 2000 household survey (ENCOVI 2000), which included a time-use module. The contribution highlights the importance of unpaid work in Guatemalan households in economic terms and concludes that in 2000, its value was equivalent to approximately 30 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for that year. The value of unpaid work is estimated using an opportunity cost approach applying market wages as well as different measures of replacement costs. The study then explores the nature of time poverty in Guatemala and examines the determinants of being both time and income poor, concluding that women are more likely to experience this condition. The study also finds that investment in small infrastructure and ownership of an electric or gas stove has the potential to reduce time and income poverty in Guatemala, primarily by alleviating women's time burdens and making their unpaid household work more efficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Gammage, 2010. "Time Pressed and Time Poor: Unpaid Household Work in Guatemala," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 79-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:16:y:2010:i:3:p:79-112 DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2010.498571

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tania Burchardt, 2008. "Time and Income Poverty," CASE Reports casereport57, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. Wodon, Quentin & Beegle, Kathleen, 2006. "Labor Shortages Despite Underemployment? Seasonality in Time Use in Malawi," MPRA Paper 11083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Alan Gelb, 2001. "Gender and Growth : Africa's Missed Potential," World Bank Other Operational Studies 9789, The World Bank.
    4. Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "The income earned by women: impacts on welfare outcomes," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 135-141, March.
    5. Apps, Patricia, 2003. "Gender, Time Use and Models of the Household," IZA Discussion Papers 796, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. C. Mark Blackden & Quentin Wodon, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7214.
    7. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Poverty Measurement and Analysis," MPRA Paper 45362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Maria Sagrario Floro & Marjorie Miles, 2003. "Time use, work and overlapping activities: evidence from Australia," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 881-904, November.
    9. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
    10. Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "The income earned by women: impacts on welfare outcomes," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 20(2), March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Campus & Gianna Giannelli, 2016. "Is the Allocation of Time Gender Sensitive to Food Price Changes? An Investigation of Hours of Work in Uganda," Working Papers - Economics wp2016_16.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    2. Seguino, Stephanie & Braunstein, Elissa, 2012. "The impact of economic policy and structural change on gender employment inequality in Latin America, 1990-2010," MPRA Paper 43261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Cecchini, Simone & Madariaga, Aldo, 2011. "Conditional cash transfer programmes: the recent experience in Latin America and the Caribbean," Cuadernos de la CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 95 edited by Eclac, December.
    4. Meurs, Mieke & Slavchevska, Vanya, 2014. "Doing it all: Women’s employment and reproductive work in Tajikistan," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 786-803.
    5. Sarah Gammage, 2015. "Labour market institutions and gender equality," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 12, pages 315-339 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Diksha Arora, 2014. "Gender Differences in Time Poverty in Rural Mozambique," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2014_05, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0089-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Isakson, S. Ryan, 2011. "Market Provisioning and the Conservation of Crop Biodiversity: An Analysis of Peasant Livelihoods and Maize Diversity in the Guatemalan Highlands," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1444-1459, August.


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