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Elizabeth Cohen Weighs in on New Study on Waiting Times and Inequality in Bloomberg, New Scientist

February 16, 2023

Bloomberg,New Scientist

A new study found people from low-income households spend at least six additional hours per year waiting for government services, childcare and healthcare than people from wealthier households in the U.S. Additionally, regardless of their economic status, Black people spend as much time waiting as those with lower incomes.

"The experience of waiting longer for things than other people around you…triggers a very pointed sense of unfairness," Elizabeth Cohen, professor of political science and author of "The Political Value of Time" (Cambridge University Press, 2018), tells New Scientist. One reason for longer wait times, she says, is that low-income people often rely on government programs that involve slow and burdensome processes.

Cohen also spoke to Bloomberg about waiting times. "That experience of having your time wasted is uniquely offensive, insulting, upsetting," she says. "Time is a unique resource and once that segment of your life is gone, you're never getting it back."

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