Make Time for Overtime

You have an important opportunity between now and September 4 to weigh in on a proposed U.S. Department of Labor rule change that would offer more overtime protection to salaried workers. This may seem like a somewhat indirect, even bureaucratic, way to stick up for workers rights, but it will matter. Consider it a contribution to a long and venerable… Read more →

The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Guest post by Laura Sylvester, graduate student at the Center for Public Policy and Administration and the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Laura drafted the initial version of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and has been actively involved in organizing and advocating for its passage for the past 18 months. The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers… Read more →

Work for Profit (or Not)

Most introductory economics texts assume that most of the work performed in the U.S. takes place in profit-maximizing firms. One important exception is Understanding Capitalism, by Samuel Bowles, Richard Edwards, and Frank Roosevelt, which has long observed that “commodified” work represents less than half of all work performed. Asked to help update this text, I came up with the pie chart… Read more →

The Rape of the Yezidi

Plutarch described the Rape of the Sabine Women as a formative stage of the founding of Rome, an episode dramatized by many of the most famous artists of the Western world, including Peter Paul Rubens and Pablo Picasso. Historian Miriam Gebhardt has recently published a book contending that large numbers of American soldiers raped German women in the early days… Read more →

The Opt-Out Elite

Claire Cain Miller’s recent article on mothers’ “career pauses” reminds me of Lisa Belkin’s controversial piece, “The Opt-Out Revolution,” published about twelve years ago. In both instances, women’s expressed preferences get more attention than their particular economic circumstances, making it difficult to assess the choices available to them (a point Myra Strober made in a previous post and that Pamela… Read more →

Options Other than Opting Out

Joan Williams of the Hastings College of the Law at the University of California has some very specific advice for lawyers considering the kind of career “pause” described in Claire Cain Miller’s recent New York Times article. In “Don’t Leave When You Leave” over at Huffington Post, Joan describes five new companies that offer legal firms “accordion” services–curated access to… Read more →

Millennial Women and “The Pause”

Guest Post by Myra Strober, Professor of Education and Economics, Emerita, and founding director of the Michelle Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. She is the author of the forthcoming memoir, Kicking in the Door. Her recent work on the economics of work and family can be viewed at     Claire Cain Miller of the New… Read more →

In Defense of Valuation

I think that estimates of the market value of non-market work are a worthwhile exercise (as my last two posts suggest) as long as they are done carefully and presented as an approximate lower-bound. But conceptual resistance to valuation remains remarkably fierce–which is a big reason we don’t see more of it. One common objection is that estimation is just… Read more →

The Temporal Constraints of Child Care

Time-use surveys measure the number of hours devoted to care of family and friends, making it possible to estimate what it would cost to purchase an approximate substitute for them. Such a “replacement cost” estimate of adult care services in the U.S. featured in my last post. However, most time-use surveys continue to emphasize time in specific activities–like feeding or… Read more →

The Dollar Value of Grown-Up Care

I love the title of the regular–and recently updated– AARP Public Policy Institute report estimating the value of family care for adults with limitations in daily activities: “Valuing the Invaluable.” It calls attention to the estimated replacement cost without fetishizing the dollars. If those family members were not on the case, money expenditures on health and long term services would be… Read more →