Hewlett Foundation Awards $400,000 Grant to Levy Economics Institute’s Gender Equality and the Economy Program
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has awarded a $400,000 grant to Bard College for the Levy Economics Institute's Gender Equality and the Economy (GEE) program to support its ongoing work to construct a broader and more accurate measure of poverty. Specifically, the grant will support a Levy project to study gender patterns in paid and unpaid work in Ghana and Tanzania in order to better reveal “hidden” deprivations that arise due to time constraints, with the goal of informing more effective, gender-responsive poverty-reduction policies in those countries. Standard measurements of poverty focus solely on income or consumption expenditures and assume that all households and individuals have enough time to adequately attend to the needs of household members—including, for example, caring for children or elderly parents. To address the hardships some households experience because of these “time deficits,” the Levy Institute’s Distribution of Income and Wealth program and GEE have developed a two-dimensional measure, the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP), that takes into account both the income and the household production time needed to achieve a minimum living standard. The project on Ghana and Tanzania will build upon previous Levy research applying LIMTIP to Argentina, Chile, Mexico, South Korea, and Turkey. The LIMTIP has also been estimated for Colombia and Uruguay by their respective national statistical agencies.
“We are very grateful to the Hewlett Foundation for supporting our ongoing work to better understand poverty and formulate more comprehensive poverty alleviation strategies,” said Levy Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou. “It is our hope that the merit of expanding the definition of poverty to account for time deficits for the cases of Ghana and Tanzania will stimulate discussions and interest among African countries as well.”
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives, concentrating its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts and philanthropy, as well as grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The support to the Levy Economics Institute is one of the first grants awarded under the Foundation’s new women’s economic empowerment strategy, which seeks to ensure that women around the world attain greater agency, opportunities, and control over resources. For more information, please visit http://www.hewlett.org/programs/global-development-and-population/expanding-choices/international-womens-economic-empowerment.
The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, founded in 1986 through the generous support of the late Bard College trustee Leon Levy, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The Institute is independent of any political or other affiliation, and encourages diversity of opinion in the examination of economic policy issues while striving to transform ideological arguments into informed debate. The Levy Institute’s Gender Equality and the Economy (GEE) program focuses on the ways in which economic processes and policies affect gender equality, and examines the influence of gender inequalities on economic outcomes. GEE’s goal is to stimulate reexamination of key economic concepts, models, and indicators—with a particular view to reformulating policy. It offers a broad view of what an economy is and how it functions, bringing into the analysis not only paid work, but also unpaid work (unpaid family work, work devoted to subsistence activities, caring for household members, and community volunteer work), an integral and key component of all economies. Ultimately, the program seeks to contribute knowledge and recommend policies that promote gender equality.
For more information about the Levy Institute, GEE, the Distribution of Income and Wealth program, or LIMTIP, visit www.levyinstitute.org.
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