The Economics of Gender

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Blackwell, 1998 - Business & Economics - 515 pages
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Economic agents can be male or female; they interact in families and households as well as in firms and markets. Yet it is only recently that economists have begun to take the implications of these facts into account in their theory, research, and policy analysis. Informed debate in economics, in other academic fields in which gender is of concern, and in society at large depends on an understanding of the economic issues underlying such questions as "why do women earn less than men" and "why, throughout the world, have men and women tended to work in separate spheres?"

"The Economics of Gender, " Second Edition offers a comprehensive, balanced, and up-to-date introduction to the new work on the differences between women's and men's economic opportunities, activities, and rewards.

Although Jacobsen's primary focus is on contemporary US patterns, she devotes four chapters to cross-societal comparisons. She also takes a close look at the evolution of contemporary patterns over time and the impact on them of race, ethnicity, and class. Throughout, she discusses the pros and cons of various policies, including "comparable worth" and welfare programs.

Many real-life examples and anecdotes enliven the text. Appendices provide additional help for readers who have not had a course in economics and further detail for the economically sophisticated.

Clear, readable, and provocative, the Second Edition of "The Economics of Gender" will continue to be welcomed as a primary text for the growing number of courses on gender economics. It remains a valuable supplement to courses in labor economics, economic policy, and women's studies. Finally, academics and policymakers in a wide range of fields will appreciate the book as a crucial reference.

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About the author (1998)

Joyce P. Jacobsen is Professor of Economics at Wesleyan University. She is the author of "The Economics of Gender, Second Edition "(Blackwell) as well as numerous research articles. She has also taught at Rhodes College, Harvard University and Northwestern University.


Gilbert L. Skillman is Associate Professor of Economics. He has also taught at Brown University and spent a term as Research Associate at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences in Uppsala. He has published a number of articles on the economics of employment and organization.

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