Feminist economics posts

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The persisting challenges of measuring women’s work: a Bangladesh story

Written with Simeen Mahmud Policymakers operate with a very truncated view of the economy—with little idea of how growth impacts, or is affected by, women’s work. Part of the problem is the ongoing exclusion of the unpaid care work from international definitions of economic activity.  This means that for the most part they fail to […]

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Tony Atkinson’s feminist proposals to reduce inequality

In his latest book, simply titled “Inequality – what can be done?”, Tony Atkinson not only provides a thorough analysis of economic inequality in the UK and other Western countries. He also puts forward some bold proposals to reduce inequality. And, a few of these have clear feminist character. His book, dedicated to “the wonderful […]

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If You’re Happy and You Know It

The political debate over the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 and a flurry of recent popular culture pieces in the “Can Women Have it All?” debate (e.g. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, Deborah Spar’s Wonder Women, and Anne Marie Slaughter’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”) remind us that the feminist ideal of gender […]

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Hierarchy of needs or synergy of goals?

In a recent article in Foreign Affairs, Marc Bellemare (1) joins the current debate on aid effectiveness, arguing for a targeted approach that focuses on basic needs and raising incomes. Other endeavors—such as gender equality, environmental sustainability, breastfeeding, cookstoves, and an independent media—are a distraction, he argues, and will, in any case, automatically follow once […]

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The secret behind Ghana’s economic growth

I traveled 3000 kilometers through Ghana after the annual IAFFE conference. This resulted in several aha-erlebnissen, as is so neatly expressed by the inhabitants of the winning country of the World Championship football. In my journey, I strikingly recognized what I teach and write. Women carrying heavy head loads, pumping drinking water, selling products on […]

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The Conundrum of Women’s Economic Empowerment in MENA

Thanks in large part to Nelson Mandela, the world came to understand the malice of apartheid. But alas, economic apartheid in South Africa remains neither understood nor close to being resolved. The country continues to be divided into the “haves” and “have nots.” Ironically, but not surprisingly, the division falls along the same racial lines […]

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Booming urban India, stagnating female labor force participation: What gives?

Stephan Klasen and Janneke Pieters India’s economy has grown fast over the past two decades as women started having fewer children, schooling rates increased rapidly accompanied by decline in the education gender gap, and the labor market returns to education increased. Despite these changes, all of which should have promoted rising participation, urban women’s labor […]

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Crowdfunding: a feminist funding revolution?

Crowdfunding is big. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, which in 2012 raised over US$300 million from more than two million funders, and Indiegogo are spreading throughout the world. In early November 2013, the US Securities and Exchange Commission proposed over 500 pages of regulations on crowdfunded activities. It is time to ask ourselves whether crowdfunding has […]

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Demography in the News—Beware of Rogue Trends

In August 2013, Time Magazine ran the following cover story: “The Childfree Life:  When having it all means not having children” by Lauren Sandler.  Sandler begins the piece with three statistics about US fertility whose job it is to convince us that the author has uncovered something new and newsworthy: a trend towards childlessness in […]

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