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Poverty is not Just Material: An Investigation of Attention and Time Poverties


This seminar will be presented by Visiting Scholar Dr. Irene Y.H. Ng, from the National University of Singapore.

While material poverty is an essential starting point for understanding the experiences of individuals in poverty, this presentation argues that policy responses are limited without understanding two other important poverties: attention and time poverties.

Along the lines of findings from behavioral research that poverty impedes cognitive function, Dr. Ng and her co-authors have found that a natural experiment of a debt relief program improved the psychological function of low-income individuals and that a “scam” experiment they implemented was more likely to trick low wage young workers who were financially distressed. Together with another set of colleagues, she is also conceptualizing a work-based time poverty measure that includes three constructs: long hours, nonstandard hours, and uncontrollable hours. They are discovering the pathways of influence from low wage to psychological well-being through time poverty and family-work conflict as mediators.

Dr. Ng's presentation will share from her various research studies to suggest the importance of understanding the experience of poverty beyond the material, and to offer policy implications when attention and time poverties are also considered.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Global Activities, the School of Social Work ENGAGE Team, and the University of Michigan's Poverty Solutions. Please note that this event has switched to a fully virtual (Zoom only) format. Information on how to join the Zoom meeting will be provided to those who register for the event.

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Event Details

  • 9/22/2022 - 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
This event has no location.

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