Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


An Alternative Valuation Method for Non-Market Production


Economics Department


Seidman College of Business

Date Range





Current techniques for valuing non-market production provide biased estimates of the value of human time spent outside the market environment. These biased estimates cause problems for applications which need to quantify the economic contribution of unpaid, non-market, and household labor. For example, the legal system measures economic losses to families and households from the injury or death of a member, while policy decision-makers evaluate the impacts of economic growth on consumer welfare. This bias in valuing non-market effort is particularly troublesome for analyzing consumer spending choices, poverty, and the effects of changing labor force participation rates by sex. We present an alternative valuation method which provides more realistic estimates of the productivity and value of effort performed by non-specialists. We estimate the distribution of market wages as a function of experience. Those distributions are then combined with data from time use surveys to value the output of non-specialist, non-market providers. A discussion of existing techniques is included.

Conference Name

51st Annual Conference

Conference Location

St. Louis, MO

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