Unpaid Work, Animated

About half of all the time devoted to work in the U.S. is devoted to unpaid work in the home. The Institute for New Economic Thinking has created an adorable animation of some comments I made in an interview with them on this topic a while back.

It’s quite a lot of fun, and basically accurate. Just don’t pay too much attention to the numbers they inserted into my discussion of two families, each with a market income of $50,000–the animation seems to imply that leisure should be assigned a monetary valuation–not something I advocate. Still, the main point comes through just fine: conventional measures provide a misleading picture of living standards.

The animation provides a great introduction to the topic for students, and you can find a more academic version of the basic argument in a short briefing paper I wrote for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.



  2 comments for “Unpaid Work, Animated

  1. Adot
    June 14, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Nancy,

    I find this extremely empowering. I work for the UN industrial development organization and the definition of women’s work is a constant challenge, especially when we have to report on how UNIDO empowers women.

    Thank you for this. I’ll read that paper ASAP.

  2. Anders Fremstad
    June 15, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Great summary and beautiful animations!

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