Discussion Papers

Time poverty among working wives in Japan

DP Number DP2020-003
Language 日本語のみ
Date July, 2020
Author Kayoko ISHII, Kunio URAKAWA
JEL Classification codes J22; I31
Keywords Time allocation;Work-life balance
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Applying the analytical framework of the two-dimensional poverty of time and income introduced by Vickery (1977), this article examines the high rate of time poverty among Japanese working wives, and the inefficiency caused by the inequality of household chores between husbands and wives. Previous studies on time poverty consider time at the household level, probably ignoring the busyness of each household member. In contrast, this study investigates the analytical framework of time poverty at the individual level, taking into account the share of husbands and wives in household chores. Additionally, the two-dimensional poverty framework of time and income at the individual level identifies a high rate of time-adjusted income poverty among working wives, characterized by neither enough time for housework, nor enough money to purchase household services that compensate for the lack of time. Applying the framework of two-dimensional poverty, this article emphasizes the importance of enhancing the husband’s participation in housework and childcare, and strengthening the wife’s work-life balance simultaneously.