Category: uncategorized

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 →

Heads Ups

*  Save the date for the 2015 meeting of the Child Care Policy Research Consortium (CCPRC) December 2 – 4, 2015. A treasure trove of summaries and presentations from the 2014 CCPRC Meeting including the plenary and workshop sessions are available on Child Care & Early Education Research Connections at:   * Writer/journalist Elaine Clift is seeking submissions for a possible anthology titled TAKE CARE:TALES,… Read more →

The Best Care Work Reporting of the Year

The British newspaper famous for its courageous investigative journalism on many different fronts wins my prize for the best reporting of the year on paid care work. A series of related articles, available in gallery format, address the underpayment of care workers in the U.K., recently dramatized by a report that 100 care agencies in the country are under investigation… Read more →

Recovering from the NYT

I started this blog in 2008, but soon let it lapse as I became an almost–weekly contributor to the New York Times Economix blog from 2009 to 2014. This felt pretty demanding on top of my regular job and I needed a while to  recover and reconfigure. Many of my posts there focused on care issues, and I’ve put together an… Read more →

Is it Work?

This ad from (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 presumably work only until the utility of the additional income (or home-produced services) is no greater than the disutility of… Read more →

Servant Sisters

A guest post by Hande Togrul (, 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, or my sister, but my live-in pseudo sister–my caregiver. In the town of Mersin in Eastern Mediterranean Turkey, where I… Read more →

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 on a Saturday night, spending most of my time curled up on the couch writing a blog entry after she… Read more →

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 Bourgeois in the Marais I recall an essay contest sponsored by a group of learned French scholars in 1759. They… Read more →

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 Timothy, a philosopher who is also from Hong Kong. Our favourite hobby in Oxford is to visit cats near the… Read more →

When a Commodity is Not Exactly a Commodity

Every week, the journal Science complements its published articles with one or more “Perspectives” offering a brief and informal summary of research on an important topic. I was thrilled to be invited to submit one of these recently, and chose to focus on the impact of personal interactions and emotional connections on the economics of care services. Forced to boil… Read more →