The Economic Differences Between Men and Women

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This paper will explore the economic differences between men and women and will talk about the current solutions as well as future possibilities.

While overlooking and misrepresenting women’s experiences was the original reason for feminists’ disappointment with mainstream economics; by the 1980s feminists were also making another valid argument. Many feminist economists were finding that conventional choice-theoretic modeling and a constricted focus on mathematical and econometric methods were weighed down by the connection it has to other items such as tradition, and relations of governance. Feminists started to ask questions about the mainstream definition of economics, its focal representation of the “economic man,” and the exclusive use of a particular set of methodological tools.

Essays on this issue were brought together in a 1993 volume of Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics (Ferber and Nelson, 1993). In this particular volume, it was proposed that economics be defined while taking into consideration the provisioning of life in all aspects where this occurs, rather than only in economic markets. Research was done on how a particular set of values, highlighting culturally masculine-related factors such as autonomy, abstraction, and separating had come to take preference over culturally feminine-related factors such as connection, interdependence and concreteness. The providers argued that rather than taking the previous as an indication of “rigidity” in the discipline, the lack of methods created by masculinist bias has made the discipline’s capability to explain real-world events weak. Questions were raised about mainstream economics because it was not objective enough and not because it was excessivel...

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Works Cited

Ferber M. A. and Nelson, J. (1993) Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ferber, M. A. and Nelson, J. (2003) Feminist Economics Today: Beyond Economic Man. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kuiper, E. and Sap, J. (1995) Out of the Margin: Feminist Perspectives on Economics. London: Routledge.

Bergmann, B. (1999) Does the market for women's labor need fixing? Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Becker, G. (2001) A Treatise on the Family. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Sen, A.K. (2002) Women, technology and sexual divisions. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, New York.

Wilensky, H. (2008) The Welfare State and Equality. Berkeley: University of California Press
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