Feminist economics? What kind of "field" is that?

Just the existence of such a field seems ridiculous to me...

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    $\begingroup$ The question "what is feminist economics?" is relevant and deserves an answer, but you sound a bit scornful. $\endgroup$ – GuiWil Feb 7 '18 at 12:13
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    $\begingroup$ IMO, this question is off topic because the question is either unclear on what it's asking, not really a question (more like making a statement), or too broad. Is the question to define the field of feminist economics? Or is it to describe why the field of "male economics" doesn't exist? Or is the OP asking for someone to justify the existence of feminist economics? This question could be improved by clarifying these things (as well as removing some of the unnecessary commentary). $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Feb 8 '18 at 6:05
  • $\begingroup$ Despite the negative tone of this question, I believe it might be one of the questions with answers of extreme value for several users of this website. $\endgroup$ – JoaoBotelho Mar 21 '18 at 8:32

Feminist Economics is a broad field covering, broadly, how gender relates to the trade-offs involved in circumstances of scarcity.

Economics as a field was dominated by men for a long time. As a result, the questions that were asked were artificially limited, as were the answers that came.

Feminist Economics sets about correcting these historical gaps, and the power imbalances that result from them.

As it progresses, the work it establishes just becomes known as economics: it gets incorporated into the mainstream of economics. For example, see the work being done one measuring progress as something much more comprehensive than merely the sum of all monetary incomes.

  • $\begingroup$ but if it covers, how gender relates to the trade-offs, why isn't it called gender economics? That would make sense. $\endgroup$ – denis631 Feb 7 '18 at 11:53
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    $\begingroup$ @denis631 because of the things written in paragraphs 2 and 3. $\endgroup$ – 410 gone Feb 7 '18 at 12:19

Theres a book called Models In Political Economy: A Guide To the Arguements by Michael Barratt Brown which provides a basic overview of the many economic schools of thought.

There is a whole chapter which discusses this whole concept of feminist economics, however there is one section which helped me understand the point of view.

" Charlottee Perkins Gilman was perhaps the first to make the point that it is possible that a man could buy each of the services of the services of his wife supplies but it would be exceedingly costly.... The only other reference to housework I could find from my texts is a jocular reference by Sir John Hicks in The Social Framework (4th edn) to the reduction in the national income would be if man were to marry his housekeeper." (Page 96)

Classically the philosophy primarily advocates for changing the measures of how we view productivity to include house work.

The benefits, which this philosophy argues, is that we would then make policies with reference to both men and women since we are including household labor as apart of our economic measures.

Now, I've tried understanding how they avoid the issue of double counting and counting intermediate goods and services but have found anything.

It seems like it can be analytical, however It is too incomplete and fraught with measurement issues to practically use.

Hope this helps.

  • $\begingroup$ Why the downvote? $\endgroup$ – EconJohn Feb 6 '18 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ This answer doesn't actually answer the question. $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Feb 7 '18 at 3:08
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    $\begingroup$ Also, I get the impression that your answer mischaracterizes feminist economics. While feminist economics might include the study of the economics of housework (which is studied more broadly in other fields), feminist economics is probably more accurately characterized as "the critical study of economics, ... attempting to overcome androcentric (male and patriarchal) biases." (from Wikipedia) $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Feb 7 '18 at 5:23
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    $\begingroup$ @jmbejara I understand your first comment. Your second comment not so much. After actually reading some of the literature put out by this school of thought I find that there is a distinction between feminist political thought and feminist economic philosophy. I'm ok disagreeing with wikipedia. $\endgroup$ – EconJohn Feb 7 '18 at 17:35
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    $\begingroup$ (1) Browsing through the articles in feminist economics journals seems to confirm that the literature covers something broader than just household production. Again, I think that the wikipedia article is probably more accurate and complete (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_economics). (2) Since other fields, such as the ones I mentioned above, cover household labor as well, I think your answer could be improved to reflect that. If someone were interested in household labor, you probably wouldn't first send them to look up feminist economics. $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Feb 8 '18 at 6:01

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