By Andrea Lynn A new study puts a price tag on the unpaid labor of women around the globe. The initial findings assess women's unpaid work contribution to households and to "human capital," meaning the home care of children and adults, the elderly and infirm, at $7,470,108,945,997 ($7.5 trillion in round numbers), or 33.6 percent of the total gross national product (GNP) in 1990 for the 132 countries in the study. When this unpaid labor was included, the total GNP came to $29,709,005,175,997, say UI researchers Kathleen Cloud, a professor of human development, and Nancy Garrett, a graduate student in sociology. Cloud, who released the findings last month at the Non-Governmental Organizations Women's Forum in Huairou, China, described the study as the "first approximation" of the value of unpaid female labor on a country-by-country basis. The researchers also found that in 1990, the GNP per capita in U.S. dollars ranged from $80 in Mozambique to $32,370 in Switzerland; with the addition of human capital labor, they found that the range for those countries went from $97 to $44,531. The smallest percentage gain in GNP per capita was 18 percent in Finland and the U.S.S.R., while the largest was 87 percent in Bangladesh. "The labor costs of bearing and rearing children, and of maintaining the health and well-being of adult laborers, are invisible in national accounts, although as much as 70 percent of the female labor force in some countries is committed on a full-time basis to such household and human capital production," the authors write in their report. This is a gender issue, they note, "because most private unmonetized costs of creating and maintaining human beings are borne in the household by women." Cloud and Garrett used three assumptions with United Nations and World Bank data on the 132 countries for 1990, and calculated revised figures for total male/female economic activity rates (measuring the percentage of people engaged in economically productive work) and adjusted GNP for each country to include the production of women's previously uncounted labor time. Those assumptions are: In national-level data, the economic activity rate of women 15 to 64 years of age is assumed to be equal to that of men of the same age; to reflect the double day of working women, all females who work in the paid labor force are assumed to contribute an additional 33.3 percent of productive time to household and human capital production; and the productivity of women's previously uncounted labor is at least equal to that of the previously counted labor force. With adjustments for women's time devoted to households and the care of people in them, Cloud and Garrett found that economic activity rates for women ages 15 to 64 average 100 percent, as compared to 86 percent for men of the same ages. Preliminary findings were presented at the conference of the International Association for Feminist Economics, which was held in July in Tours, France.