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economics is sexist

rross
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8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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8/16/2013 5:59:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

Nope. The problem there is that even though economics would want to include child rearing into the GDP, they really can't, because the monetary value of the same is implicit. It is the same for a man rearing his kids, for example. A nanny's income would be included in the GDP, because then the activity ceases to be implicit.

The monetary value of you gardening would also not be included in the GDP for the same reason. What is to be included and what not is activity specific, rather than based on the gender of the person doing the work.
rross
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8/16/2013 6:14:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 5:59:38 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

Nope. The problem there is that even though economics would want to include child rearing into the GDP, they really can't, because the monetary value of the same is implicit. It is the same for a man rearing his kids, for example. A nanny's income would be included in the GDP, because then the activity ceases to be implicit.

The monetary value of you gardening would also not be included in the GDP for the same reason. What is to be included and what not is activity specific, rather than based on the gender of the person doing the work.

Yes, but I think her point was that the idea to measure only monetary transactions is of itself sexist. It's hard for me to explain it because I'll probably get all the terms wrong. But it does seem as though the emphasis on monetary transactions is kind of arbitrary.

If there are all these implicit transactions, why is GDP so central to measuring a country's output (if it is)?
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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8/16/2013 9:00:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 6:14:30 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:59:38 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

Nope. The problem there is that even though economics would want to include child rearing into the GDP, they really can't, because the monetary value of the same is implicit. It is the same for a man rearing his kids, for example. A nanny's income would be included in the GDP, because then the activity ceases to be implicit.

The monetary value of you gardening would also not be included in the GDP for the same reason. What is to be included and what not is activity specific, rather than based on the gender of the person doing the work.

Yes, but I think her point was that the idea to measure only monetary transactions is of itself sexist. It's hard for me to explain it because I'll probably get all the terms wrong. But it does seem as though the emphasis on monetary transactions is kind of arbitrary.

If there are all these implicit transactions, why is GDP so central to measuring a country's output (if it is)?

Because GDP is, by definition, the monetary value of goods and services produced in an economy. There are problems with it, true- but it is the best measure we have till date.

I get her point, I assume she is saying something along the line of- we should measure all these commodities too- since they too are the goods and services produced in the economy; but how is a question that would need to be answered there.

Since these services aren't marketed, we can't measure their value via market price. There is an emerging concept of shadow prices, which is a measure of change in welfare of a society due to a unit change in a factor input- but that again assumes a shortage of this input in the market, which I'm not sure would work here. Although even if that was true, applying this to the measurement of GDP would be more complicated than the process employed now.

My professor addressed this while teaching us National Income accounting. Quoting him, " We would like to measure these activities, because these are also important. We just don't know how to." The problem isn't even of the pricing, it extends to the fact that there are just so many activities that can be included, and no mechanism for the government to know the extent of implicit activities.

Say I want to measure monetary value of the time I spend teaching my kid, and suppose I take an average tution fee rate as the money value, it is extremely difficult to gauge how much time you'd spend teaching him. Multiply by number of people in the country.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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8/16/2013 7:20:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

I largely agree with this, but I believe there are efforts out there that aim to quantify the value of "housework". Personally, I don't think it's too difficult, just compare housework to the "opportunity cost" (i.e. most viable alternative, more than likely a maid or butler) and then factor in size of house, chores, errands, etc...all of that takes time, and if you charge by the hour, you can get a decent idea what those efforts are worth.

A cursory glance on the internet that supports my argument:

http://www.forbes.com...

As you know I'm not big on citing academic papers (too lazy probably, lol) but here's a couple as well. I think only the first one may be relevant to your question:

http://dspace.cigilibrary.org...
http://rss.sagepub.com...
http://www.roiw.org...
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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8/16/2013 9:51:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Economics is no more sexist than biology is racist.
Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands.
Economics does not only look at money. Money is just a medium of exchange.

She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

No. Economics is a social science, and population growth plays a role in economics. The parent's decision to have a child can be factored into an economic model. A woman's decision to be a stay at home mom can be calculated with economics (The Marginal Utility of Parenting / the Marginal Utility of Income). A woman does receive a benefit from her role as a parent, even if it is not a financial benefit.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
rross
Posts: 2,772
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8/17/2013 4:59:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 9:00:50 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 8/16/2013 6:14:30 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:59:38 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

Nope. The problem there is that even though economics would want to include child rearing into the GDP, they really can't, because the monetary value of the same is implicit. It is the same for a man rearing his kids, for example. A nanny's income would be included in the GDP, because then the activity ceases to be implicit.

The monetary value of you gardening would also not be included in the GDP for the same reason. What is to be included and what not is activity specific, rather than based on the gender of the person doing the work.

Yes, but I think her point was that the idea to measure only monetary transactions is of itself sexist. It's hard for me to explain it because I'll probably get all the terms wrong. But it does seem as though the emphasis on monetary transactions is kind of arbitrary.

If there are all these implicit transactions, why is GDP so central to measuring a country's output (if it is)?

Because GDP is, by definition, the monetary value of goods and services produced in an economy. There are problems with it, true- but it is the best measure we have till date.

I get her point, I assume she is saying something along the line of- we should measure all these commodities too- since they too are the goods and services produced in the economy; but how is a question that would need to be answered there.

Since these services aren't marketed, we can't measure their value via market price. There is an emerging concept of shadow prices, which is a measure of change in welfare of a society due to a unit change in a factor input- but that again assumes a shortage of this input in the market, which I'm not sure would work here. Although even if that was true, applying this to the measurement of GDP would be more complicated than the process employed now.

My professor addressed this while teaching us National Income accounting. Quoting him, " We would like to measure these activities, because these are also important. We just don't know how to." The problem isn't even of the pricing, it extends to the fact that there are just so many activities that can be included, and no mechanism for the government to know the extent of implicit activities.

Say I want to measure monetary value of the time I spend teaching my kid, and suppose I take an average tution fee rate as the money value, it is extremely difficult to gauge how much time you'd spend teaching him. Multiply by number of people in the country.

Well, so doesn't that mean that economics is sexist. It's all very well saying they'd like to measure women's productivity, but they don't.

So. I don't know enough about economics to know what the consequences of this are. Does it mean that the economic indicators represent men's activities more than women's, on the whole? And so economic decisions, and political decisions based on economic data, are going to be more favorable to the lives of men than to women?
rross
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8/17/2013 5:17:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 7:20:45 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

I largely agree with this, but I believe there are efforts out there that aim to quantify the value of "housework". Personally, I don't think it's too difficult, just compare housework to the "opportunity cost" (i.e. most viable alternative, more than likely a maid or butler) and then factor in size of house, chores, errands, etc...all of that takes time, and if you charge by the hour, you can get a decent idea what those efforts are worth.

A cursory glance on the internet that supports my argument:

http://www.forbes.com...

As you know I'm not big on citing academic papers (too lazy probably, lol) but here's a couple as well. I think only the first one may be relevant to your question:

http://dspace.cigilibrary.org...
http://rss.sagepub.com...
http://www.roiw.org...

Thanks for these wrichcirw. I haven't read them all, but I'm already offended! :)

Women are caregivers, educators, and - yes - end up doing more housework. It's true. So, women's work should be equated to being a maid? I don't think so. Why shouldn't women be business owners in this model? Instead of giving us a fantasy hourly wage which we don't actually earn, why not actually calculate the value of what women do? I think Cermank said something like that. Too hard, perhaps. Perhaps caring for the young, old, disabled and sick, in a loving and personal way is, actually, scarily valuable. I don't think it's realistic to say these functions could be adequately approximated by someone on an hourly wage. I suggest that children raised entirely by nannies would be messed up. That elderly people would not count a visit from a social-worker as equivalent to a visit from a daughter. And anyway. Why should women get shafted by an hourly wage? Where's the actual profit going?
rross
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8/17/2013 5:23:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 9:51:57 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Economics is no more sexist than biology is racist.

It's quite possible for biology to be racist. If there was a excessive fashion for examining and measuring biological differences between "races" then it would be racist. For example, in Nazi Germany, wasn't there a branch of science that measured particular facial features, and had a model for the perfect dimensions for an Aryan or something? That's quite racist.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands.
Economics does not only look at money. Money is just a medium of exchange.

Yeah? So when it's not about money (for example, caring for elderly relatives), how is the work measured?

She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

No. Economics is a social science, and population growth plays a role in economics. The parent's decision to have a child can be factored into an economic model. A woman's decision to be a stay at home mom can be calculated with economics (The Marginal Utility of Parenting / the Marginal Utility of Income). A woman does receive a benefit from her role as a parent, even if it is not a financial benefit.

So what about work that doesn't provide a personal benefit? For example, if a woman stays home with disabled children, say, from her husband's previous marriage and she's utterly miserable (Catfish - have you seen the movie)? There's a benefit to society, but not to the woman personally.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
rross
Posts: 2,772
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8/17/2013 5:28:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM, sdavio wrote:
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.

Well sure. But by sexist I just meant unequal in representation - that it disproportionately weights the activity of women and men. Not that there was anything personal in it.
rross
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8/17/2013 5:30:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 5:28:47 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM, sdavio wrote:
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.

Well sure. But by sexist I just meant unequal in representation - that it disproportionately weights the activity of women and men. Not that there was anything personal in it.

Of course men do voluntary work. And housework. And stay home with the children. All of it. But women do it a lot more than men do, so at the population level if those activities aren't weighted properly, then all the economic calculations will disproportionately represent the economic activities of men. I think.
sdavio
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8/17/2013 6:02:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 5:30:17 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:28:47 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM, sdavio wrote:
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.

Well sure. But by sexist I just meant unequal in representation - that it disproportionately weights the activity of women and men. Not that there was anything personal in it.

Of course men do voluntary work. And housework. And stay home with the children. All of it. But women do it a lot more than men do, so at the population level if those activities aren't weighted properly, then all the economic calculations will disproportionately represent the economic activities of men. I think.

Economics seems to be the wrong term for what you mean. Possibly you mean a capitalist system (which economics is the foundation of) does not adequately reward women? Economics is just the study of wealth - not making value judgements about it.. It just says 'if this happens, this is what will happen next.' It's similar to saying 'Science is homophobic' or 'Transactional analysis is racist,' it just doesn't apply, since for economics to be 'sexist' it would need to make an actual statement about gender, which it does not do.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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8/17/2013 10:25:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 5:23:55 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/16/2013 9:51:57 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Economics is no more sexist than biology is racist.

It's quite possible for biology to be racist. If there was a excessive fashion for examining and measuring biological differences between "races" then it would be racist. For example, in Nazi Germany, wasn't there a branch of science that measured particular facial features, and had a model for the perfect dimensions for an Aryan or something? That's quite racist.

No, racism is a bias based on race, and sexism is a bias based on sex. Biology is not bias, pseudobiology is bias. Nazi biology was bias, because it was funded by the state in order to confirm German superiority. Anything contradicting Nazi ideology was dismissed, or ignored. That is not how science works, true science is un-bias.

Un-bias does not mean the results is egalitarian, only that the results are not predetermined. Science tells us that some races are more prone to illnesses than others (for example, the lighter your skin the more prone you are to sun burns). This does not mean science is racist; it would be racist to ignore these results.

Focusing on the biology of different races is not racist, but focusing on the biology of races in order to prove a predetermined conclusion is racist.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands.
Economics does not only look at money. Money is just a medium of exchange.

Yeah? So when it's not about money (for example, caring for elderly relatives), how is the work measured?


Caring for the elderly is economically optimized when the Marginal Utility of caring for the elderly = the Marginal cost of caring for the elderly. Utility is not necessarily materialistic.

She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

No. Economics is a social science, and population growth plays a role in economics. The parent's decision to have a child can be factored into an economic model. A woman's decision to be a stay at home mom can be calculated with economics (The Marginal Utility of Parenting / the Marginal Utility of Income). A woman does receive a benefit from her role as a parent, even if it is not a financial benefit.

So what about work that doesn't provide a personal benefit? For example, if a woman stays home with disabled children, say, from her husband's previous marriage and she's utterly miserable (Catfish - have you seen the movie)? There's a benefit to society, but not to the woman personally.

Sure there is, otherwise she would put the kid up for adoption. Just because you don't enjoy the work you do, does not mean you don't receive any benefit from the work.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Jake-migkillertwo
Posts: 67
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8/17/2013 1:35:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

She doesn't know what "economics" is. So no, she's very, very, very, very, very wrong, and probably brainwashed by her sociology and literary criticism professors.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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8/17/2013 2:49:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 6:02:00 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:30:17 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:28:47 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM, sdavio wrote:
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.

Well sure. But by sexist I just meant unequal in representation - that it disproportionately weights the activity of women and men. Not that there was anything personal in it.

Of course men do voluntary work. And housework. And stay home with the children. All of it. But women do it a lot more than men do, so at the population level if those activities aren't weighted properly, then all the economic calculations will disproportionately represent the economic activities of men. I think.

Economics seems to be the wrong term for what you mean. Possibly you mean a capitalist system (which economics is the foundation of) does not adequately reward women? Economics is just the study of wealth - not making value judgements about it.. It just says 'if this happens, this is what will happen next.' It's similar to saying 'Science is homophobic' or 'Transactional analysis is racist,' it just doesn't apply, since for economics to be 'sexist' it would need to make an actual statement about gender, which it does not do.

Economics isn't exactly the study of wealth. I'd say it's the study of decision-making based upon a utilitarian mindset. Money lends itself very well to utilitarian analysis, so most economic analysis deals with money. However, decision-making based upon a utilitarian model can easily find its way into all kinds of human affairs:
http://qje.oxfordjournals.org...

I mean, the abstract of that paper is a bit pretentious, but it's IMHO generally true that "economic" analysis can easily apply to any field where decisions are being made (i.e. everything).
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
sdavio
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8/17/2013 9:05:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 2:49:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 8/17/2013 6:02:00 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:30:17 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:28:47 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM, sdavio wrote:
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.

Well sure. But by sexist I just meant unequal in representation - that it disproportionately weights the activity of women and men. Not that there was anything personal in it.

Of course men do voluntary work. And housework. And stay home with the children. All of it. But women do it a lot more than men do, so at the population level if those activities aren't weighted properly, then all the economic calculations will disproportionately represent the economic activities of men. I think.

Economics seems to be the wrong term for what you mean. Possibly you mean a capitalist system (which economics is the foundation of) does not adequately reward women? Economics is just the study of wealth - not making value judgements about it.. It just says 'if this happens, this is what will happen next.' It's similar to saying 'Science is homophobic' or 'Transactional analysis is racist,' it just doesn't apply, since for economics to be 'sexist' it would need to make an actual statement about gender, which it does not do.

Economics isn't exactly the study of wealth. I'd say it's the study of decision-making based upon a utilitarian mindset. Money lends itself very well to utilitarian analysis, so most economic analysis deals with money. However, decision-making based upon a utilitarian model can easily find its way into all kinds of human affairs:
http://qje.oxfordjournals.org...

I mean, the abstract of that paper is a bit pretentious, but it's IMHO generally true that "economic" analysis can easily apply to any field where decisions are being made (i.e. everything).

Good point. I think my idea still stands, though, that economics is not itself sexist. It could be that women inherently supply less utility than men, however that would not make the study which acknowledges that fact sexist.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
rross
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8/17/2013 10:26:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:25:01 AM, DanT wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:23:55 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/16/2013 9:51:57 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Economics is no more sexist than biology is racist.

It's quite possible for biology to be racist. If there was a excessive fashion for examining and measuring biological differences between "races" then it would be racist. For example, in Nazi Germany, wasn't there a branch of science that measured particular facial features, and had a model for the perfect dimensions for an Aryan or something? That's quite racist.

No, racism is a bias based on race, and sexism is a bias based on sex. Biology is not bias, pseudobiology is bias. Nazi biology was bias, because it was funded by the state in order to confirm German superiority. Anything contradicting Nazi ideology was dismissed, or ignored. That is not how science works, true science is un-bias.

Un-bias does not mean the results is egalitarian, only that the results are not predetermined. Science tells us that some races are more prone to illnesses than others (for example, the lighter your skin the more prone you are to sun burns). This does not mean science is racist; it would be racist to ignore these results.

Focusing on the biology of different races is not racist, but focusing on the biology of races in order to prove a predetermined conclusion is racist.

True science is un-bias? This sounds like a fanatical argument to me. Of course science - the discipline and body of knowledge - can be biased. There are lots of ways. Studies designed towards particular outcomes being funded; certain models dominating thinking in a particular areas; wide areas and possibilities that are not studied or considered...

In specific examples, especially in the social sciences and biology, the way data is categorized and considered can be biased in itself. Anywhere people people are categorized by "race" is assuming that such categorization is meaningful.
rross
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8/17/2013 10:27:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 1:35:03 PM, Jake-migkillertwo wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Her idea is that the vast majority of the work produced by women is unpaid and therefore ignored in economics, which only looks at activity that results in money changing hands. She thinks that economics was sexist from its conception, and doesn't include activities such as raising children, caring for the sick at home, any kind of housekeeping, community volunteer activities, etc.

Is she right?

She doesn't know what "economics" is. So no, she's very, very, very, very, very wrong, and probably brainwashed by her sociology and literary criticism professors.

lol
rross
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8/17/2013 10:33:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 9:05:37 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 2:49:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 8/17/2013 6:02:00 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:30:17 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:28:47 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM, sdavio wrote:
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.

Well sure. But by sexist I just meant unequal in representation - that it disproportionately weights the activity of women and men. Not that there was anything personal in it.

Of course men do voluntary work. And housework. And stay home with the children. All of it. But women do it a lot more than men do, so at the population level if those activities aren't weighted properly, then all the economic calculations will disproportionately represent the economic activities of men. I think.

Economics seems to be the wrong term for what you mean. Possibly you mean a capitalist system (which economics is the foundation of) does not adequately reward women? Economics is just the study of wealth - not making value judgements about it.. It just says 'if this happens, this is what will happen next.' It's similar to saying 'Science is homophobic' or 'Transactional analysis is racist,' it just doesn't apply, since for economics to be 'sexist' it would need to make an actual statement about gender, which it does not do.

Economics isn't exactly the study of wealth. I'd say it's the study of decision-making based upon a utilitarian mindset. Money lends itself very well to utilitarian analysis, so most economic analysis deals with money. However, decision-making based upon a utilitarian model can easily find its way into all kinds of human affairs:
http://qje.oxfordjournals.org...

I mean, the abstract of that paper is a bit pretentious, but it's IMHO generally true that "economic" analysis can easily apply to any field where decisions are being made (i.e. everything).

Good point. I think my idea still stands, though, that economics is not itself sexist. It could be that women inherently supply less utility than men, however that would not make the study which acknowledges that fact sexist.

Lol. Women inherently supply less utility than men? Quite. This is exactly the objection. Women don't inherently supply less utility than men. But the methodology of economic calculations inherently favors the utility that men tend to supply.

So, for example, a nanny working in a house is part of the economy - as it's typically measured -, but a mother doing the same thing is not. Have I got that right?
darkkermit
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8/17/2013 10:33:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There is actually a heterodox school of economics known as feminist economics that tries to take into consideration more non-monetary transactions that women contribute.

Although economists acknowledge the limits of using GDP as a measurement. But just because it has limits, doesn't mean its completely useless.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
rross
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8/17/2013 10:36:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:33:38 PM, darkkermit wrote:
There is actually a heterodox school of economics known as feminist economics that tries to take into consideration more non-monetary transactions that women contribute.

Although economists acknowledge the limits of using GDP as a measurement. But just because it has limits, doesn't mean its completely useless.

I didn't say it was useless. It's just an interesting and new idea for me, and I want to know what the consequences of it are. I mean, if women aren't represented in economic data, what are the consequences?

I'm thinking they're going to be BAD and that I should get really angry.
darkkermit
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8/17/2013 10:37:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:36:09 PM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:33:38 PM, darkkermit wrote:
There is actually a heterodox school of economics known as feminist economics that tries to take into consideration more non-monetary transactions that women contribute.

Although economists acknowledge the limits of using GDP as a measurement. But just because it has limits, doesn't mean its completely useless.

I didn't say it was useless. It's just an interesting and new idea for me, and I want to know what the consequences of it are. I mean, if women aren't represented in economic data, what are the consequences?

I'm thinking they're going to be BAD and that I should get really angry.

What do you mean what are the consequences?

For the record, men also contribute to producing goods and services that aren't represented in GDP as well.
Open borders debate:
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sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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8/17/2013 10:39:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:33:28 PM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 9:05:37 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 2:49:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 8/17/2013 6:02:00 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:30:17 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:28:47 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:25:02 AM, sdavio wrote:
Economics is a study of wealth.. so it's not anti-things not involving wealth.. it's just not relevant to them. It's like saying measuring how tall something is is anti-width.. or that the study of relationships is anti being alone.. it doesn't follow. In fact, it is the friend who's sexist because it's entirely possible for men to do voluntary, not for direct profit work.

Well sure. But by sexist I just meant unequal in representation - that it disproportionately weights the activity of women and men. Not that there was anything personal in it.

Of course men do voluntary work. And housework. And stay home with the children. All of it. But women do it a lot more than men do, so at the population level if those activities aren't weighted properly, then all the economic calculations will disproportionately represent the economic activities of men. I think.

Economics seems to be the wrong term for what you mean. Possibly you mean a capitalist system (which economics is the foundation of) does not adequately reward women? Economics is just the study of wealth - not making value judgements about it.. It just says 'if this happens, this is what will happen next.' It's similar to saying 'Science is homophobic' or 'Transactional analysis is racist,' it just doesn't apply, since for economics to be 'sexist' it would need to make an actual statement about gender, which it does not do.

Economics isn't exactly the study of wealth. I'd say it's the study of decision-making based upon a utilitarian mindset. Money lends itself very well to utilitarian analysis, so most economic analysis deals with money. However, decision-making based upon a utilitarian model can easily find its way into all kinds of human affairs:
http://qje.oxfordjournals.org...

I mean, the abstract of that paper is a bit pretentious, but it's IMHO generally true that "economic" analysis can easily apply to any field where decisions are being made (i.e. everything).

Good point. I think my idea still stands, though, that economics is not itself sexist. It could be that women inherently supply less utility than men, however that would not make the study which acknowledges that fact sexist.

Lol. Women inherently supply less utility than men? Quite.

I didn't say they do supply less utility; it was a response to wrich's statement that economics is basically about utility.. If men and women supply exactly the same utility then economics is irrelevant from gender anyway. If they supply different amounts of utility, then they have different relationships with economics.

This is exactly the objection. Women don't inherently supply less utility than men. But the methodology of economic calculations inherently favors the utility that men tend to supply.

So, for example, a nanny working in a house is part of the economy - as it's typically measured -, but a mother doing the same thing is not. Have I got that right?

So really your objection is with the methodology of integrating economics, not with economics itself, which was my point.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
rross
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8/17/2013 10:42:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:37:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:36:09 PM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:33:38 PM, darkkermit wrote:
There is actually a heterodox school of economics known as feminist economics that tries to take into consideration more non-monetary transactions that women contribute.

Although economists acknowledge the limits of using GDP as a measurement. But just because it has limits, doesn't mean its completely useless.

I didn't say it was useless. It's just an interesting and new idea for me, and I want to know what the consequences of it are. I mean, if women aren't represented in economic data, what are the consequences?

I'm thinking they're going to be BAD and that I should get really angry.

What do you mean what are the consequences?

For the record, men also contribute to producing goods and services that aren't represented in GDP as well.

Right. And women also produce goods and services that are represented. But women's economic contribution is under-represented in the data, and not consistently. There are particular domains of work (caregiving, housework etc.) that are completely neglected, from the sounds of it. That has to matter when it comes to decisions and policies that are based on economic data.
DanT
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8/17/2013 10:47:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:26:08 PM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:25:01 AM, DanT wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:23:55 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/16/2013 9:51:57 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Economics is no more sexist than biology is racist.

It's quite possible for biology to be racist. If there was a excessive fashion for examining and measuring biological differences between "races" then it would be racist. For example, in Nazi Germany, wasn't there a branch of science that measured particular facial features, and had a model for the perfect dimensions for an Aryan or something? That's quite racist.

No, racism is a bias based on race, and sexism is a bias based on sex. Biology is not bias, pseudobiology is bias. Nazi biology was bias, because it was funded by the state in order to confirm German superiority. Anything contradicting Nazi ideology was dismissed, or ignored. That is not how science works, true science is un-bias.

Un-bias does not mean the results is egalitarian, only that the results are not predetermined. Science tells us that some races are more prone to illnesses than others (for example, the lighter your skin the more prone you are to sun burns). This does not mean science is racist; it would be racist to ignore these results.

Focusing on the biology of different races is not racist, but focusing on the biology of races in order to prove a predetermined conclusion is racist.

True science is un-bias? This sounds like a fanatical argument to me. Of course science - the discipline and body of knowledge - can be biased. There are lots of ways. Studies designed towards particular outcomes being funded; certain models dominating thinking in a particular areas; wide areas and possibilities that are not studied or considered...

In specific examples, especially in the social sciences and biology, the way data is categorized and considered can be biased in itself. Anywhere people people are categorized by "race" is assuming that such categorization is meaningful.

Scientists can be bias, but science cannot be bias. If science is bias, than it is not real science.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
rross
Posts: 2,772
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8/17/2013 10:47:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:39:15 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:33:28 PM, rross wrote:

This is exactly the objection. Women don't inherently supply less utility than men. But the methodology of economic calculations inherently favors the utility that men tend to supply.

So, for example, a nanny working in a house is part of the economy - as it's typically measured -, but a mother doing the same thing is not. Have I got that right?

So really your objection is with the methodology of integrating economics, not with economics itself, which was my point.

No, it's about economics itself. Because, as Cermank said, and others have confirmed, it's not possible to properly measure non-monetary production (I may get these terms wrong). Therefore, economics as a discipline and body of knowledge, is busy formulating models and theories that relate disproportionately to one part of the population (men) and not so much to the other part (women). It's indirectly discriminatory and therefore sexist. This isn't mean to imply any kind of intent.
rross
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8/17/2013 10:52:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:47:00 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:26:08 PM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:25:01 AM, DanT wrote:
At 8/17/2013 5:23:55 AM, rross wrote:
At 8/16/2013 9:51:57 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/16/2013 5:28:25 AM, rross wrote:
I was talking to someone last night who thinks that economics is sexist. I didn't feel like I knew enough about it to say anything, but I thought people here might know.

Economics is no more sexist than biology is racist.

It's quite possible for biology to be racist. If there was a excessive fashion for examining and measuring biological differences between "races" then it would be racist. For example, in Nazi Germany, wasn't there a branch of science that measured particular facial features, and had a model for the perfect dimensions for an Aryan or something? That's quite racist.

No, racism is a bias based on race, and sexism is a bias based on sex. Biology is not bias, pseudobiology is bias. Nazi biology was bias, because it was funded by the state in order to confirm German superiority. Anything contradicting Nazi ideology was dismissed, or ignored. That is not how science works, true science is un-bias.

Un-bias does not mean the results is egalitarian, only that the results are not predetermined. Science tells us that some races are more prone to illnesses than others (for example, the lighter your skin the more prone you are to sun burns). This does not mean science is racist; it would be racist to ignore these results.

Focusing on the biology of different races is not racist, but focusing on the biology of races in order to prove a predetermined conclusion is racist.

True science is un-bias? This sounds like a fanatical argument to me. Of course science - the discipline and body of knowledge - can be biased. There are lots of ways. Studies designed towards particular outcomes being funded; certain models dominating thinking in a particular areas; wide areas and possibilities that are not studied or considered...

In specific examples, especially in the social sciences and biology, the way data is categorized and considered can be biased in itself. Anywhere people people are categorized by "race" is assuming that such categorization is meaningful.

Scientists can be bias, but science cannot be bias. If science is bias, than it is not real science.

So what do you think science is then? Isn't it just a philosophy, a procedure, a knowledge base. Can't all those things be biased?
Jake-migkillertwo
Posts: 67
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8/17/2013 11:02:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:47:34 PM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:39:15 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:33:28 PM, rross wrote:

This is exactly the objection. Women don't inherently supply less utility than men. But the methodology of economic calculations inherently favors the utility that men tend to supply.

So, for example, a nanny working in a house is part of the economy - as it's typically measured -, but a mother doing the same thing is not. Have I got that right?

So really your objection is with the methodology of integrating economics, not with economics itself, which was my point.

No, it's about economics itself. Because, as Cermank said, and others have confirmed, it's not possible to properly measure non-monetary production (I may get these terms wrong). Therefore, economics as a discipline and body of knowledge, is busy formulating models and theories that relate disproportionately to one part of the population (men) and not so much to the other part (women). It's indirectly discriminatory and therefore sexist. This isn't mean to imply any kind of intent.

"Sexist", like "racist", "misogynist" implies at a minimum a kind of attitude. It may not imply a conscious intent, but necessitates an unjustified attitude towards women. To say otherwise would imply that the critical study of hip-hop would be biased against whites because non-whites would not be studied as much. But that's absurd because white artists simply do not produce as much hip hop as black or latino artists.

The reason that economists do not measure price-less services like child-care is not haphazard or arbitrary; you really cannot measure the value of those services as easily or directly as you would measure the value of a particular exchange involving money.

And for the record, there are a lot of services that men provide that aren't accounted for either in GDP figures. There *is* a hypothetical market value for lawn-care, heavy housework/construction, car maintenance, etc. But these are not measured in GDP figures and we can only get, at best, indirect "revealed preference" metrics for those services.

Economics, at its core, is a theory of prices.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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8/17/2013 11:07:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 10:47:34 PM, rross wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:39:15 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 8/17/2013 10:33:28 PM, rross wrote:

This is exactly the objection. Women don't inherently supply less utility than men. But the methodology of economic calculations inherently favors the utility that men tend to supply.

So, for example, a nanny working in a house is part of the economy - as it's typically measured -, but a mother doing the same thing is not. Have I got that right?

So really your objection is with the methodology of integrating economics, not with economics itself, which was my point.

No, it's about economics itself. Because, as Cermank said, and others have confirmed, it's not possible to properly measure non-monetary production (I may get these terms wrong). Therefore, economics as a discipline and body of knowledge, is busy formulating models and theories that relate disproportionately to one part of the population (men) and not so much to the other part (women). It's indirectly discriminatory and therefore sexist. This isn't mean to imply any kind of intent.

So let's say men play football more than women. Is it sexist to study the rules of football?

Regardless, according to wrich's definition economics itself encompasses both monetary and non-monetary utility. It is the capitalist system, which then employs money as a system for measuring utility, which you seem to have a problem with.

But surely it is by choice that women are not part of that system in this way? They could, if they wanted to, make a bill for all of the duties they fulfil, and give it to their husband like in that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. It is totally up to them, and they choose not to charge. This alternative is not a non-economic system. There is still an economy there: The husband goes to work (In the traditional setup,) the woman looks after children and cleans or whatever, and both feel that the other is upholding enough of their own end to justify their own work. (Supplying enough utility.) The only difference is that this is an economic system which does not involve money.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx