Category: uncategorized

The Tyranny of (Some) Metrics

This new book by Jerry Z. Muller (Princeton University Press, 2018) does a great job explaining what happens when policy makers rely too heavily on simplistic measures of performance.  He  offers compelling examples from diverse domains, ranging from schools to hospitals to police departments, the military, and foreign aid.  His opening riff on the 2002-2008 television series, The Wire, is… Read more →

The ILO on Care Work and Care Workers

The new International Labour Organization report on care work and care workers is a real milestone. It consolidates and compares data of time devoted to care time for all countries (about 80!) for which time-use survey data are available. It  includes discussion of  wages, working conditions and future shortages in paid care employment. It outlines an ambitious policy agenda, insisting… Read more →

The Book Underway

  Here is my excuse for a long hiatus in my posts: a return to the venerable genre of monograph (a.k.a. “book”) in order to explain to patient readers how an analysis of care work complements intersectional political economy (and vice versa). Check out this Oxfam post for some of the political gist.   Forthcoming from Verso in 2018. 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 →

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 →