Value of housework time and changes in traditional economic well-being in Finland in 1979-2000

Paivi Mattila-Wiro

Value of housework time, consumption possibilities, economic well-being, inequality, poverty

The paper looks at the change, the level and the structure of income distribution and distribution of consumption possibilities at the individual and at the household level between the years 1979 and 2000. I also pay attention to the development of low incomes when the concept of income is expanded to include a monetary measurement of household production. The paper uses Time Use Data, collected by Statistics Finland in 1979, 1987-1988 and 1999-2000. I find that consumption possibilities are more equally distributed than money income. Household production increases the consumption possibilities of all income groups but its effect is most significant in the low income decile groups. As a share of consumption possibilities, household production forms a significantly more important part for low income households than for high income households. By looking at consumption possibilities we can see a different distribution of economic well-being compared to distribution offered by money income measurement alone.