Sunday, May 08, 2005

The value of mothers

What fun is it to know the value of everything and the price of nothing?

A Sunday NY Times piece on "The Economic Unit Called Supermon" cites, "[o]ne financial planning company ...[that] has in fact added up the annual salaries of workers among the 17 occupations engaged in by a busy mother (pet care, housekeeping, etc.) and come up with an annual estmated $707,126 annual paycheck ..."

The U.S. Census reports that there are now 82.5 million mothers in the U.S. They also report that 55% are working moms, most of whom are probably earning a lot less that $707k. Suppose, however, that 25% of the 82.5 million are stay-at-home moms actually adding in the high six figures to annual GDP.

That would more than double GDP!

I always knew that a mom's work is crucial and that leaving it out of GDP is a distortion. Only now do we have a handle on the dimensions of that omission.