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The New Home Economics at Colombia and Chicago

  • Shoshana Grossbard-Shechtman

When Jacob Mincer and Gary Becker started the New Home Economics (NHE) at Columbia University in the early 1960s, they expanded on the field of family and consumption economics that Hazel Kirk and Margaret Reid began in the early 1920s. This paper studies forty years of household economics, the decisions that household members make regarding any allocation of resources. These decisions may regard consumption, labor supply, transportation, fertility, or health. A review of the history of the NHE shows that Jacob Mincer's original contribution tends to be underestimated. This paper also argues that the growth of the NHE benefited from the concentration of talent at Columbia, organizational support, the diversity of a student body that included many talented women, the ideological commitments that students, many of them married, had for the study of home production, a departmental policy de-emphasizing gender-related politics, and relatively high levels of civility.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 103-130

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:7:y:2001:i:3:p:103-130
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  8. Gronau, Reuben, 1973. "The Intrafamily Allocation of Time: The Value of the Housewives' Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 634-51, September.
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  11. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  12. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  13. Robert Cherry, 1998. "Rational Choice and the Price of Marriage," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 27-49.
  14. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
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  18. Keeley, Michael C, 1979. "An Analysis of the Age Pattern of First Marriage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 527-44, June.
  19. Julie A. Nelson, 1995. "Feminism and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 131-148, Spring.
  20. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
  21. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  22. Riboud, Michelle, 1985. "An Analysis of Women's Labor Force Participation in France: Cross-Section Estimates and Time-Series Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S177-200, January.
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  24. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
  25. Ferber, Marianne A & Birnbaum, Bonnie G, 1977. " The "New Home Economics:" Retrospects and Prospects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 19-28, June.
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