Feminist economics

Feminist economics is the critical study of economics and economies, with a focus on gender-aware and inclusive economic inquiry and policy analysis.[1] Feminist economic researchers include academics, activists, policy theorists, and practitioners.[1] Much feminist economic research focuses on topics that have been neglected in the field, such as care work, intimate partner violence, or on economic theories which could be improved through better incorporation of gendered effects and interactions, such as between paid and unpaid sectors of economies.[2] Other feminist scholars have engaged in new forms of data collection and measurement such as the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), and more gender-aware theories such as the capabilities approach.[3] Feminist economics is oriented towards the goal of "enhancing the well-being of children, women, and men in local, national, and transnational communities."[1]

The first issue of Ms. magazine examined feminist economics in a piece by Jane O'Reilly

Feminist economists call attention to the social constructions of traditional economics, questioning the extent to which it is positive and objective, and showing how its models and methods are biased by an exclusive attention to masculine-associated topics and a one-sided favoring of masculine-associated assumptions and methods.[4][5] While economics traditionally focused on markets and masculine-associated ideas of autonomy, abstraction and logic, feminist economists call for a fuller exploration of economic life, including such "culturally feminine" topics such as family economics, and examining the importance of connections, concreteness, and emotion in explaining economic phenomena.[4]

Many scholars including Ester Boserup, Marianne Ferber, Julie A. Nelson, Marilyn Waring, Nancy Folbre, Diane Elson, Barbara Bergmann and Ailsa McKay have contributed to feminist economics. Waring's 1988 book If Women Counted is often regarded as the "founding document" of the discipline.[6][7] By the 1990s feminist economics had become sufficiently recognised as an established subfield within economics to generate book and article publication opportunities for its practitioners.[8]