I let this blog succumb to the great Lapse Disease to which many blogs are prone. But I have an excuse–I started posting weekly to the New York Times Economix blog and found this pretty demanding on top of my…

Jobs for Whom?

The case for “green jobs” took off last fall, when my colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) began publicizing their estimates of the potential jobs that could be created by public investments in conservation and alternative energy. I…

What is She Worth? How to Value (Or Not to Value) a Woman's Life

The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund dispensed death benefits for female victims that averaged only 63% of those for male victims. Why? Special Master Kenneth Feinberg was instructed to use a formula similar to that used in U.S. courts, taking victims’…

The Motherhood Penalty

Most women know that having a child is costly and leaves them vulnerable to poverty. But most probably don’t know how these costs and risks actually measure up, especially considering important differences across women and their families. Even as you…

Is it Work?

This ad from monster.com (a job-search site) caught my eye, a reminder that most people hope for a job that will be intrinsically satisfying. Neoclassical economists generally define work as an activity that is only a means to an end–people…

Children as Pets

This recent New Yorker cover satirizes the notion that children, like puppies in a store window, are just another consumer good. I think the gender stereotyping is intended as a joke, though not all viewers would take it that way….

Servant Sisters

A guest post by Hande Togrul (handetogrul@yahoo.com), graduate student at the University of Utah: **************************************************** Here I am as a seven-year old, dressed up for the first day of school, standing next to my evlat-lik–not my mother, or my aunt,…

Child Care Time

When I took this picture of my friend Gaela (who is a girl, not a cat), was I engaging in photography, child care, or both? What if I stayed at Gaela’s house while her parents stepped out to a party…

Measuring Progress

I’m in Paris for a meeting of a new Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. It’s a city that invites reflections on the past that can make the future shimmer. Walking down the Rue des Francs…

Cat Care

Guest blogger Man Yee Kan, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, pictured here with her cat Sammie, writes: I came to Oxford from Hong Kong eight years ago as a sociology graduate student and soon after that met my partner…