Measuring Time Poverty and Analyzing Its Determinants: Concepts and Application to Guinea
The availability of better data on time use in developing countries makes it important to provide tools for analyzing such data. While the idea of “time poverty” is not new, and while many papers have provided measures of time use and hinted at the concept of time poverty, we have not seen in the literature formal discussions and measurement of the concept of time poverty alongside the techniques used for measuring consumption poverty. Conceptually, time poverty can be understood as the fact that some individuals do not have enough time for rest and leisure after taking into account the time spent working, whether in the labor market, for domestic work, or for other activities such as fetching water and wood. Unlike consumption or income, where economists assume that “more is better,” time is a limited resource—more time spent working in paid or unpaid work-related activities means less leisure, and therefore higher “time poverty.” Our aim in this paper is to provide a simple application of the concepts used in the consumption poverty literature to time use, in order to obtain measures of time poverty for a population as a whole and for various groups of individuals.
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