Discretionary Time: A New Measure of Freedom

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The Time-Pressure Illusion: Discretionary Time vs. Free Time

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Hours of Work in U.S. History

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Discretionary Time: A New Measure of Freedom

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Find The Cost Of Freedom

Learned optimism. The authors of this book have developed a novel way to measure 'discretionary time': time which is free to spend as one pleases. Exploring data from the US, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden and Finland, they show that temporal autonomy varies substantially across different countries and under different living conditions.

By calibrating how much control people have over their time, and how much they could have under alternative welfare, gender or household arrangements, this book offers a new perspective for comparative cross-national enquiries into the temporal aspects of human welfare. About The Author. Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:. Hours of Play:. Tell Us Where You Are:. Preview Your Review. Thank you. Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly.

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Extra Content. Table of Contents Part I. Introduction: 1. Time and money; 2. Discretionary time; 3. The distribution of discretionary time; Part II. Time Pressure: 4. Time pressure: a new problem? The prevalence of these forms of malnutrition in the United States and other developed societies is highly influenced by both the level of income and support and the availability of discretionary income. The essential question is "How will the last dollar earned be spent? Economic factors, taken alone, do not determine the nutritional status of individual children in a family or community.

Moreover, as often found in immigrant populations, poverty in the past may affect present-day food selection, [ 16 ] and the poor in the United States are surrounded by the wealthy, and the world of wealth presented via television and other mass media begs to be imitated. In , Margaret Mead, with great prescience, warned of the consequences of having the poor imitate the affluent. She wrote,. Adjustments to chronic poverty seem to establish cultural norms and may appear to be separate from their economic origins, but they are not.

Thus, in the context of chronic poverty, what we see as "food choice" is a highly complex phenomenon influenced by the cost and availability of food and the dynamics of the family.

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On a positive note, the body of Mead's work, [ 17 ] and that of her contemporaries [ 9 , 19 , 20 ] suggest that a combination of education, persistence, readily available, affordable and culturally consistent food is likely to have a positive impact on the nutritional status of children in poor families.

It is necessary, however, to have a secure food supply. With chronic poverty, a process called the "Engel's Phenomenon" occurs. Food selection narrows to those items providing the most energy at lowest cost.


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Over time, micronutrients disappear from the diet, and specific nutrient deficiencies follow. Any money received is used to pay the cost of necessities — food, rent, heat, and the expenses of getting to work such as clothes, day-care, and transportation. Thus, there is a paradoxical association between poverty and obesity in childhood.


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An important difference, however, is that impoverishment increases the risk for micronutrient deficiency. Studies throughout the United States show that competing costs for other necessities — rent [ 25 ] and fuel [ 3 ] reproduce the "Engel's Phenomenon" described above. Only past poverty incomes does discretionary income appear where discretionary income equals total income minus the cost of obligate expenses and necessities.

Discretionary alternatively "disposable" income refers to funds available after obtaining necessities. These costs include food, housing, health care and the expenses of maintaining employment — day care, clothes and transportation. The interaction between definitions of poverty and sources of income and resources is fully described by Citro and Michael.

Engel Curves. Poorer workers' increased earnings do not generate discretionary income until the total of income from earnings plus supplementation reaches poverty level. Past poverty level discretionary income appears until, at about three times poverty level income, all new money earned is available for discretionary spending. This figure is reproduced from Malnourished Children in the United States with permission. There is a curvilinear relationship between poverty and childhood obesity. Increasing the total income has no effect on discretionary income since none accumulates.

Children in families with incomes below the poverty are most 'at risk' for undernutrition — either growth retardation or specific nutrient deficiency. From 1 to 3 times poverty level incomes, discretionary income appears until, at three times the poverty level, all new income is discretionary.