|About the Book|
Economics is gender-biased in its definition, methods and models. The emphasis on questions of choice and markets, on the use of mathematical methods, and on models based on individual, rational action reflect a way of conceptualizing the world which has a distinctly masculine slant. Julie Nelson extends feminist analysis of the influence of masculine norms on the development of Western science, by scholars such as Evelyn Fox Keller and Sandra Harding, to the specific case of economics. As well as evaluating the abstract core models of neoclassical economics, this book includes case studies on topics including the theory of the family, income tax policy and macroeconomics. However, the book does not simply berate economists for the disciplines failings- alternatives such as discarding all current economic practice, or setting up an economics solely for women or for womens issues, are explicitly and emphatically rejected. Rather, it presents the outlines of a less gender-biased discipline which would be richer, more useful and more objective. Such a discipline, informed by feminist theory, would be an improved one, for all practitioners and all subjects. While in most disciplines the feminist critique is well advanced, this is the first full-length, single-authored book to focus on gender bias in contemporary economics. Its author is a practising academic economist and a leader in the recent development of feminist economics.