Women's unpaid work, living standards and contributions to national income
This seminar is hosted by Thilo Huning and Matthias Morys.
Women’s paid and unpaid work is brought into the calculus of living costs and so into the measurement of living standards, the history of care and the measurement of national output. Using British sources, the cost of living is indexed directly from records of what was paid to board and lodge humble but decent people. Hedonic regression techniques are used to identify the value of components of lodging (food, board, bed, washing, mending).
Comparison of board and lodging costs with the contemporaneous cost of Allen’s ‘respectable consumption basket’ reflects how standards drifted away from the basket baseline. The evolving gap between the costs of an Allen basket and the costs of board and lodging captures both the inclusion of new commodities and services in ‘respectable’ consumption and the changing costs of the labour needed to transform the basket commodities into actual livings. Isolation of these labour costs provides market equivalents to unpaid domestic labour, the value of which can then be imputed and aggregated in comparison with national income estimates.