A Tale of Two Single-Mothers: Understanding the Impact of Handicap through the Use of Diaries


  • University of Franche-Comte, CRESE, Besancon, France
  • Burgundy School of Business, Banque Populaire Chair in Microfinance, CEREN, Dijon, France


Disabled people, being deprived of economic activities, may nevertheless engage in non-economic activities within the household, especially in extended family households in poor countries. These may include looking after children. Thus, there may be a close relationship between human, physical and financial resources and consumption, production and investment activities of the household, as suggested by the Household Economic Portfolio model (Chen and Dunn 1996). Among the poor, single mothers are particularly vulnerable, although many are quite resistant. We are looking at understanding whether disabled single mothers are more vulnerable. We have adopted a case study approach because the methodology that we have adopted, the use of diaries, is difficult to analyze. The study of the poor through financial diaries is not new (Collins et al. 2010). However, we have gone a step further and used financial and time diaries. Our findings show that the combining of the two kinds of diaries has led to considerable insights on how a handicap not only limits the income, but also forces one to consumption patterns of time and money which are different.


Poverty, Handicap, Time, Money, Human Capital, Financial Capital, Physical Capital, Combined Diaries.

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