Ramnarain, Smita

Advisor Department





Feminist Economics; Time

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.


This project uses a feminist economics lens to examine if differences in time preferences occur along the axis of gender, for working undergraduate students who are time-poor. Feminist economics questions how the current prominent economic paradigm values some things (scarcity, markets, money, paid work, etc.) over others (social provisioning, unpaid work, altruism). It examines the assumptions made in conventional economic theory and expands the scope of economic activity beyond the market, to look into what occurs within the household and in social networks. It also expands the conventional understanding of work to include unpaid or care work done in the household and one’s community. One aspect of feminist economic analysis is to examine the gender division of labor by, among other things, looking into how women and men might allocate their time on paid vs. unpaid work. This project develops a survey to look into how working undergraduate students – students who have time commitments, who may face difficult decisions and trade-offs in how they allocate time between work, study, and other activities, and who may be considered time-poor – might value their time in relation to the activities performed, wages, and availability of time, and if gender patterns emerge therein. Not only does this project seek to examine how people end up using time but integrates preferences into the framework by also inquiring into how they might prefer to use it. Thus, in addition to expanding the inquiry of time and gender, this study also interrogates the preferences of this population. The study is also unique in its focus on undergraduate students, given that the current generation may have different preferences for time use than preceding ones.