2015 ISRF Essay Prize in Economics Awarded to Prof

The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF), in partnership with the Cambridge Journal of Economics (CJE), is pleased to announce the award of the 2015 ISRF Essay Prize in Economics to Professor Julie A. Nelson, Department Chair and Professor of Economics at the College of Liberal Arts, UMASS. 

Prof. Nelson's paper, "Husbandry: a (feminist) reclamation of masculine responsibility for care", won the prize of CHF 7,000 and acceptance for publication in the CJE, one of the world's leading economics journals. The central thesis of the paper is the reclamation of the medieval word 'husbandry' to promote a masculine-associated practice of care. Recalling the agrarian, pastoral roots of the word 'husbandry' to describe cultivation and management,Prof. Nelson elegantly juxtaposes this icon of masculinity with today's 'incentivised' CEO, an image she argues is harmful and uncaring.

Judged by a panel of experts to be intellectually radical, orthogonal to current debates and articulating a strong, feminist critique of a mainstream economics which has forgotten its ethical history, the foundation has the privilege to reproduce the paper on its website, in full.

Read the winning essay online at


In partnership with Organization Studies, the ISRF is now accepting submissions for the 2016 ISRF Essay Prize in Organisation Studies, on the topic "Autonomy and Organisation". For more information, visit

M.V. Lee Badgett cited in Lincoln Journal Star

Same-sex marriage could add $8 million to Nebraska's economy


A study recently released by a UCLA Law-sponsored national think tank concluded allowing same-sex marriage in Nebraska could add $8 million to the state's economy.

"This study confirms that all Nebraskans would benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community," said M.V. Lee Badgett, one of the study's authors and long time IAFFE member.

The Williams Institute at UCLA Law conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Its research is disseminated to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.

The LJS reported that the Nebraska aspect of the study was based on a 2010 U.S. Census report that showed 2,356 same-sex couples had self-identified as living in the state. In Massachusetts and other states that allow same-sex marriage, a pattern has shown that about 50 percent of same-sex couples choose to marry in the first three years after states legalize the marriages.

If that would happen in Nebraska, the study said, about 1,178 couples could potentially have weddings, about 750 of those occurring the first year. In that year, those weddings could add $5.2 million to the state's economy from wedding arrangements and tourism by couples and their guests. Over three years, the weddings could boost the economy by $8 million.

By JoAnne Young for the LJS


Read the full article here. 

Tufts institute to award annual Leontief Prize to

GDAE will award its 2016 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought to Amit Bhaduri and Diane Elson. This year's award, titled "Development and Equity," recognizes the contributions that these researchers have made to economic understandings of development, power, gender, and human rights.

“As the free market and waves of globalization have left some peoples behind, Diane Elson and Amit Bhaduri demonstrate why the current theories of development have excluded the poor and disenfranchised from the growth process,” said GDAE Co-Director Neva Goodwin. “Their cross-disciplinary work and profound understanding of economic development is appropriately recognized in an award that bears Leontief's name.”
GDAE awards the Leontief Prize each year to leading theorists who have developed innovative work in economics that addresses contemporary realities and supports just and sustainable societies. This year’s award will celebrate their continuing efforts to expand our knowledge of economic systems in the contexts of globalization, capital accumulation and the shifting balance of power away from governments to markets.

The ceremony and lectures by the awardees will take place on March 10, 2016 on Tufts University’s Medford campus; further details will be forthcoming.

2016 Awardees

Diane Elson, 2016 Leontief Prize WinnerDr. Diane Elsonis Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, Visiting Professor at the Centre for Research on Women in Scotland’s Economy, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Research Associate of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University. Dr. Elson is a member of the UN Committee for Development Policy, and an adviser to UN Women. She has published widely on gender equality, economic policy, and human rights, and is currently writing a book with Radhika Balakrishnan and James Heintz entitled Economic Policy for Social Justice: The Radical Potential of Human Rights.
Learn more about Dr. Elson




Amit Bhaduri, 2016 Leontief WinnerDr. Amit Bhaduriis Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and is currently the Visiting Chair Professor in Political Economy at Goa University. He has served as Professor of Political Economy at the University of Pavia, Italy, Reader at the Delhi School of Economics, and Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Dr. Bhaduri’s research spans several important fields including capital and growth theory, Keynesian and Post-Keynesian macroeconomics, and development economics. He has published more than 60 papers and has written ten books.
Learn more about Dr. Bhaduri

About the Leontief Prize

GDAE inaugurated its economics award in 2000 in memory of Nobel Prize-winning economist and GDAE advisory board member Wassily Leontief. The Leontief Prize recognizes economists whose work, like that of the institute and Leontief himself, combines theoretical and empirical research to promote a more comprehensive understanding of social and environmental processes.

The inaugural prizes were awarded in 2000 to John Kenneth Galbraith and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen. Since then, GDAE has awarded the Leontief Prize to Paul Streeten, Herman Daly, Alice Amsden, Dani Rodrik, Nancy Folbre, Robert Frank, Richard Nelson, Ha-Joon Chang, Samuel Bowles, Juliet Schor, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Stephen DeCanio, José Antonio Ocampo, Robert Wade, Bina Agarwal, Daniel Kahneman, Nicholas Stern, Martin Weitzman, C. Peter Timmer, Michael Lipton, Albert O. Hirschman (posthumous), Frances Stewart, Angus Deaton, James K. Galbraith, Duncan Foley, and Lance Taylor.

Read more about theLeontief Prize and past winners
Read more about the2016 Leontief Prize Winners

RFP | Evidence-Based Foundation of Women's Economi

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) invites those interested to review the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Evidence-Based Foundation of Women's Economic Empowerment (see link below).

The UNDP has been working hard together with UNWomen and the UN Women in Bangaladesh on this project and would be pleased to receive high quality proposals.

The direct link to the RFP for the research is:

For further information please see the RFP.

Kate Bahn in "Chronicle of Higher Ed" Collection

An article by Kate Bahn, Chair of the IAFFE Communications Committee, is included in a new featured collection of articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Bahn's article, Faking It: Women, Academia, and Impostor Syndrome, addresses women academics' susceptibility to the Impostor Syndrome--"the feeling that, regardless of your accomplishments, you're still about to be unmasked as a fraud ...."

The featured collection, The Gender Divide in Academe: Insights on Retaining More Academic Women, provides a variety of perspectives on the gender gap in higher ed, including how some colleges are creating ways to retain and support female academics.

Kate Bahn is a doctoral student in economics at the New School for Social Research and a writer and co-editor at

Read more at:

Kabeer to teach at Gender Institute

The Gender Institute is delighted to announce that Professor Naila Kabeer will be a member of faculty in the 2013/14 academic year! Professor Kabeer will be joining Professor Diane Perrons and Dr. Ania Plomien, both members of IAFFE, to teach on the first course on feminist economics in a UK university.

Prior to joining the Gender Institute, Professor Kabeer has been: Professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex where she worked for many years.

Her publications include Reversed Realities: gender hierarchies in development thought; The Power to Choose: Bangladeshi women and labour supply decision-making in London and Dhaka; and, more recently, Gender and Social Protection in the Informal Economy

Professor Kabeer will contribute to the MSc Programmes at the Gender Institute, especially the MSc Gender Development and Globalisation.

Cecilia Conrad cited in FT Magazine

The American Economic Association publishes a regular newsletter from the “Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession”, and two summers ago the newsletter pondered a depressing trend — or rather a depressing lack of a trend.


“The fraction of all bachelor of arts candidates majoring in economics has not budged much over the past decade,” wrote Cecilia Conrad of the MacArthur Foundation, co-editor of the newsletter. There are two or three male undergraduate economists for every female undergraduate economist. That is not good — but at least the ratio isn’t getting worse. In the UK, the ratio is similar but has shown a marked decline between 2002 and 2013. The basic explanation is lack of demand: too few women wish to study economics.

By Tim Harford for FT Magazine

Read the full article here

NY Times "Barbara Bergmann, Trailblazer for Study

Barbara Bergmann, a pioneer in the study of gender in the economy who herself overcame barriers to women in the world of academic economics, died on April 5 at her home in Bethesda, Md. She was 87.

Her son, David Martin Bergmann, confirmed the death.

Ms. Bergmann was an emeritus professor at both American University and the University of Maryland, and she continued to research, publish and consult until very recently.

Sixty years ago, Ms. Bergmann did not need to sift through economic data to find evidence of discrimination. When she was a graduate student at Harvard in the mid-1950s, one library at the university was off-limits to women, Alice Rivlin, a fellow Ph.D. student who went on to become vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve and director of the Office of Management and Budget in the 1990s, said in a telephone interview on Friday.

Women had just begun to be permitted to work as teaching fellows at the time, Ms. Rivlin added, and they took exams separately from their male counterparts.

“It wasn’t an atmosphere that was very congenial to women,” she said. “It was hard to get an academic job unless you wanted to teach at a women’s college.”

Ms. Bergmann persisted. She initially taught at Harvard as an economics instructor after earning her Ph.D. there in 1958, and joined the White House Council of Economic Advisers in 1961 as a senior staff economist.

After working at Brandeis University and the Brookings Institution, Ms. Bergmann joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1965, teaching there until 1988. She taught economics at American University from 1988 to 1997.

A co-founder of the International Association for Feminist Economics, Ms. Bergmann also contributed columns to the Sunday Business section of The New York Times in the 1980s.

Long a liberal voice in the field, Ms. Bergmann was a fierce critic of the laissez-faire policies then being advocated by the Reagan administration, and of proposed cuts to social programs that dated to the New Deal.

“We have our Scrooges, and lately the Scrooges have grown bolder in expressing themselves,” she wrote in December 1981. “But we are not a nation of Scrooges. On the contrary, we are a nation that, seeing voluntary efforts as commendable but chronically insufficient, has for almost 50 years been relieving social distress through the federal Treasury, using the coercive powers of government to collect the funds.”

Some of Ms. Bergmann’s columns turned out to be prescient, with an early warning of just how severe the recession of the early 1980s would be. She also wrote a column in May 1982 column entitled “A Threat Ahead From Word Processors.”

In that piece, she predicted that the advent of computers and an “an electronic revolution in the office” would decimate the need for typists, secretaries and clerical workers, who tended to be women.

She noted the downward pressure this might have on wages in some fields, and argued that while technological change and greater productivity might be a good thing economically, existing barriers to women in the work force might make finding new jobs difficult and worsen poverty.

“Will high-status people be willing to type their own documents in the future?” she asked. “Though the stigma runs deep, the spreading use of the computer for tasks other than word processing may succeed in removing the stain from the activity of typing on the job.”

In addition to frequent articles in academic journals, Ms. Bergmann was the author of a well-received history of women in the workplace, “The Economic Emergence of Women.” It first appeared in 1986 and was reissued in a new edition in 2005.

The book traces how women began joining the labor force in considerable numbers in the 19th century, well before the rise of modern feminism. Nor was leaving the home and working for hire a result of changing attitudes, Ms. Bergmann wrote; she concluded that economic forces made women’s labor too valuable to be confined to domestic work.

In the late 20th century, Ms. Bergmann called for the government to do more in the marketplace on behalf of women and single-parent families, including support for increased access to day care and the passage of legislation mandating comparable pay for women and men.

In her book, Ms. Bergmann proposed reforms “that she concedes will have to await a less traditional, more egalitarian administration,” the author Wendy Kaminer concluded in a review in The Times in October 1986.

Barbara Rose Berman was born July 20, 1927, in the Bronx to Eastern European immigrants. She earned a B.A. from Cornell in 1948 before going on to receive her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics at Harvard. In 1965 she married Fred H. Bergmann, a microbiologist at the National Institutes of Health; he died in 2011.

In addition to her son, Ms. Bergmann is survived a daughter, Sarah Nellie Bergmann, and three grandchildren.

Whether at Harvard in the 1950s or during the Reagan era, Ms. Bergmann was ready to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies of the time, Ms. Rivlin said.

“Barbara was always quite outspoken and forceful in her views,” she said. “She was never shy about them.”


Schwartz, Nelson D. "Barbara Bergmann, Trailblazer for Study of Gender in Economics, Is Dead at 87." New York Times 11 April 2015

The full article can be read here 

Letter to President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President Erdoğan:

On behalf of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE), we are writing to express our concern over investigations into, and prosecutions of, signatories of the statement “We will not be a party to this crime.” We understand that many feminist scholars, including members of IAFFE, are among those who signed this petition calling for an end to the state violence against Kurds and for a return to peace negotiations.

The International Association for Feminist Economics is an open, diverse community of academics, activists, policy theorists, and practitioners from around the world. Our common cause is to further gender-aware and inclusive economic inquiry and policy analysis with the goal of enhancing the well-being of children, women, and men, regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin. We are deeply concerned about the punitive actions that jeopardize well-being and violate the freedom of expression, including academic freedom, of our members and other academics who have signed the petition.

We urge the Turkish government to stop all punitive actions against the signatories of the Peace Petition and that Turkey observe the international human rights conventions to which it is legally bound, as well as norms of freedom of expression essential in all democratic societies.


Şemsa Özar, President of IAFFE

Executive Committee of the Board of Directors
Cecilia Conrad, Board Chair
Joyce Jacobsen, President Elect
Ann Mari May, Executive Vice President & Treasurer
Ebru Kongar, Executive Vice President & Secretary
Diana Strassmann, Editor of Feminist Economics

Bekir Bozdağ
Minister of Justice
06669 Kizilay
Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 3370

The Honorable John F. Kerry
United States Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Ambassador Serdar Kılıç
Turkish Ambassador to the United States
2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington,DC 20008
Fax: 202‐612‐6744

Ambassador John Bass
American Embassy Ankara
110 Atatürk Blvd
Kavaklıdere, 06100 Ankara ‐ Turkey
Fax: (90‐312) 467‐0019

Ms. Victoria Nuland
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
US Department of State
2201C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Fax: 202‐736‐4462

The Honorable Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations, CH‐1211
Geneva 10, Switzerland

Sent January 21, 2016

Why we need Feminist Economists

Professor Naila Kabeer looks back over the history of feminist economics and outlines her reasons why it matters for the future.


Male voices and perspectives tend to dominate economics, but feminist economists are challenging this

Like many other areas of life, male voices have tended to dominate economics. Throughout history, millions of women have been subject to systems and structures that privilege male perspectives at their expense. Feminist economics chanllenges this reality.

To read more, go to