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Economics of Gender

Dr. Erin George
Hood College
Level: beginner
Perspective: Feminist Economics
Topic: Crises, Inequality & Class, Labour & Care, Race & Gender
Format: Course description/syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Epifania Amoo-Adare 

Course Description:

"Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President's spouse. I wish him well!" - Barbara Bush

"We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters." - Gloria Steinem

“If Lehman Brothers had been “Lehman Sisters”, [the] economic crisis clearly would look quite different.”  - Christine Lagarde (Managing Director of the IMF)


Welcome to econ 320! Sitting in the 21st century, it is often hard to imagine that women received the right to vote in the United States less than 100 years ago. Yet there remain major disparities in the economic lives of women and men. The goal of this course is to explore these differences in economic outcomes observed among women and men, measured by such things as earnings, income, hours of work, poverty, and the allocation of resources within the household. It will evaluate women’s perspectives and experiences in the United States and around the world, emphasizing feminist economics.

By the end of the semester, a student taking this course should be able to:

  • Use economic theory to explain why men specialize in market work while women have traditionally specialized in homemaking.
  • Explain why some jobs are primarily female while others are primarily male.
  • Understand why men, on average, have higher wages than women.
  • Explain the barriers to female leadership in the business world.
  • Analyze how control of income affects the distribution of that income within the household.
  • Critically evaluate how trade liberalization impacts women and men differently, and how these differences vary among countries.
  • Describe how government policies can exacerbate and/or ameliorate these differences.
  • Explain how a financial crisis might impact women and men differently.
  • Learn how to read and interpret the results of statistical analyses, including regression output.
  • Demonstrate competency in both oral and written communication skills. (Learning Goal #4, Outcome 1)
  • Illustrate the ability to express quantitatively through graphs, figures, and tables. (Learning Goal #2, Outcome 2)
  • Demonstrate analytical, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. (Learning Goal #4, Outcome 3)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics and apply this
    understanding to economic and business phenomenon. (Learning Goal #2, outcome 3)

Required Texts:

  • The Economics of Women, Men, and Work, seventh edition. Francine Blau, Marianne Ferber, and Anne Winkler.
  • Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy. Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild. Holt Paperbacks, 2003.
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sheryl Sandberg. New York: Random House 2013.
  • The Power to Choose: Bangladeshi Garment Workers in London and Dhaka. Naila Kabeer. London: Verso Press 2003.

Course Outline:

Part I: Introduction to gender economics

Part II: Gender roles in the family and labor markets in the United States

  • Household Models in Economics 
  • Women’s Unpaid Care and Household Work
  • Gender and the Labor Market
  • Gender and Marriage
  • Gender Differences in Labor Market Outcomes –Supply Side
  • Gender Differences in Labor Market Outcomes – Demand Side

Part III: Gender Issues in Global Context: Financial Crises, the Globalization of Trade, and Labor Market Issues in Developing Countries

  • Gender Differences around the World 
  • Women in the Informal Sector
  • Trade and Gender
  • Economic Crises and Gender

Part IV: Gender Aware Economic Policies

  • Public Policies Affecting Paid Work and Family Time in the U.S.
  • Public Policies Affecting Work and Family Time in other Countries
  • Engendering Fiscal Policy
  • Team Presentations of the Field Research

Part V: Where we are now

 

Download syllabus here

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Comment from our editors:

This syllabus is part of the Syllabi collection on International Association for Feminist Economics. This course is suitable for undergraduate students.

 

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