Feminist Economics

Economic Approaches:

Key assumptions and aspects:

  • Main concern: Gender equality
  • Economies are made up of: Individuals and social groups
  • Human beings are: Shaped by their intersectional identities (combinations of class, gender, ethnicity, and other social identities)
  • Economies change through: Cultural and social developments
  • Favoured methods: Wide variety, from survey and regression analysis to interviews and participant observation 
  • Typical policy recommendations: Supporting and rewarding unpaid care work and fighting discrimination

Since the 1960s, feminist thinking have had a tremendous impact on the social sciences. However, in economics, this process only started in the 1990s and is still marginal as compared to other social sciences. Nevertheless, feminist economists have made important contributions to the study of unpaid work, well-being, care, households and of course gender. Human beings are seen as products of social interactions, engaging in conflict, competition as well as cooperation with each other at different moments in time. Instead of focusing on the ‘economic man’ who engages only in market transactions, feminist economists study the entire fabric of provisioning, investigating the ways people organize themselves to make a living as interdependent social processes.


  • Feminist Economics on Exploring Economics, from 2016. 
  • Rethinking Economics: An Introduction to Pluralist Economics by Liliann Fischer, Joe Hasell, J. Christopher Proctor, David Uwakwe, Zach W. Perkins, & Catriona Watson, from 2018, chapter 5. 
  • A Companion to the History of Economic Thought by Warren J. Samuels, Jeff. E. Biddle & John B. Davis, from 2003, chapters 28B. 
  • The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Economics by Günseli Berik & Ebru Kongar, from 2021. 
  • Out of the Margin: Feminist Perspectives on Economics by Edith Kuiper, Susan Feiner, Jolande Sap, Notburga Ott, & Zafiris Tzannatos, from 1995. 
  • Feminist Economics Today: Beyond Economic Man by Marianne A. Ferber & Julie A. Nelson, from 2000.
  • Greed, Lust and Gender: A History of Economic Ideas by Nancy Folbre, from 2009.