fbpx Alleviating time poverty among the working poor - Ashley Whillans | Harvard Kennedy School

Abstract

2021, Paper: "Poverty entails more than a scarcity of material resources—it also involves a shortage of time. To examine the causal benefits of reducing time poverty, we conducted a longitudinal field experiment over six consecutive weeks in an urban slum in Kenya with a sample of working mothers (N=1550), a population who is especially likely to experience severe time poverty. Participants received vouchers for services designed to reduce their burden of unpaid labor. We compared the effect of these vouchers against equivalently valued unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) and a survey-compensation-only control condition. In a pre-registered Bayesian ANCOVA, we found evidence that the time-saving, UCT, and survey-compensation-only conditions had similar positive effects on subjective wellbeing, perceived stress, and relationship conflict. Exploratory analyses revealed that the time-saving vouchers and UCTs produced these benefits through distinct psychological pathways. We conclude by discussing the implications for research and policymaking in economic development." Read via HBS

Non-HKS Author Website - Ashley Whillans