Undervaluation of contribution of women to development
One of the oldest conundrums in the theory of national income statistics is the question: if a man marries his housekeeper, is it correct to show a decline in national income. The answer given is, in a sense, a test of the respondent's concept of what national income statistics are intended to exhibit. The answer 'yes' implies that, because the marriage signifies the disappearance of a marketed activity from the sphere of measured production, national income, or GNP, being regarded as essentially the sum of market activities, correctly falls. The answer 'no' implies a recognition that the woman's activities as a housekeeper may be expected more or less to continue as before: there is no change (necessarily) in the total flow of goods and services.
Working women in the UK are estimated to have lost a total of $27 in overtime in 1987 because of home responsibilities. This is changing, however, as men assist in housework and childraising. Married men in the USA now do an impressive nine minutes more housework each day than they did twenty years ago.
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