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A Modest Proposal for Inclusion of Women's Household Human Capital Production in Analysis of Structural Transformation


  • Kathleen Cloud
  • Nancy Garrett


Neoclassical economists posit a set of stylized facts which mark the structural transformation of national economies. Yet these facts, when disaggregated by gender, exhibit puzzling anomalies. For the 132 countries in our sample, female rates of economic activity are much lower than men's, and GDP per capita accounts for less than 16 percent of the variation in female rates. We argue that the missing female labor is occupied in a fourth sector-production and maintenance of human capital. Utilizing a series of heroic assumptions, the paper makes a first rough estimate of the value of this sector on a country-by-country basis.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathleen Cloud & Nancy Garrett, 1997. "A Modest Proposal for Inclusion of Women's Household Human Capital Production in Analysis of Structural Transformation," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 151-177.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:3:y:1997:i:1:p:151-177
    DOI: 10.1080/135457097338906

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. "The High Price of Motherhood"
      by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2010-08-10 12:42:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Marilyn Power, 1999. "Parasitic-Industries Analysis and Arguments for a Living Wage for Women in the Early Twentieth-Century United States," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 61-78.


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