Valuing Houses but Not Housewives

Nancy Folbre, professor emerita of economics at UMASS-Amherst, writes at The New York Times’ Economix: “A stay-at-home spouse who specializes in unpaid work also increases household living standards, by reducing the need to purchase services like child care, housekeeping, gardening and meals away from home. Imputations of the value of this work are included in some experimental national income accounts but are largely ignored in discussions of public policy, with some perverse consequences.”