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An Input-Output Approach to Valuing Non-Market Household Time

IJED, Vol. 9 No. 4, (2007)

Unpaid household production is unmeasured, unvalued, and unseen in most economic policy studies. Family care work receives even less attention in economic policy and planning. However, unpaid household time and outputs are critical to the well-being of our economy. Historically, arguments against counting the economic contributions of household labor resulted from the difficulties of measuring and valuing non-market outputs. I demonstrate an economic model that combines unpaid family care activities and labor market participation within an Input-Output (I/O) framework to allow valuation of household care activities. Using the duality between time allocation and valuation, I determine implicit values of unpaid household production time in the same metric used in the I/O flows accounts, namely, the transactions-based, GDP denominated, monetary flows. This creates improved opportunities for economic assessments of policy impacts on both household and market labor.

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