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Making Visible the Hidden Economy: The Case for Gender-Impact Analysis of Economic Policy

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  • Susan Himmelweit

Abstract

This paper makes the case for analyzing the gender impact of economic policy, based on the existence of an unpaid as well as a paid economy and on structural differences between men's and women's positions across the two economies. Economic policy is targeted on the paid economy. However, unintended impacts on the unpaid care economy may limit how effective any policy can be. Gender-impact assessment will not only make the effects of economic policies on gender inequalities transparent; it will also enable policy makers to achieve all their goals more effectively, whether or not these goals relate explicitly to gender. The introduction in the UK of a new Working Families' Tax Credit (WFTC), designed to make employment pay and help reduce child poverty, provides an example of how gender-impact assessment could have been used to improve an initial policy design. The paper also suggests criteria for evaluating economic policy, so that its full gender impact and its effects on both paid and caring economies can be assessed.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Himmelweit, 2002. "Making Visible the Hidden Economy: The Case for Gender-Impact Analysis of Economic Policy," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 49-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:8:y:2002:i:1:p:49-70
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700110104864
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan Gershuny & John Robinson, 1988. "Historical changes in the household division of labor," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(4), pages 537-552, November.
    2. Duncan Ironmonger, 1996. "Counting outputs, capital inputs and caring labor: Estimating gross household product," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 37-64.
    3. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    4. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
    5. Sunstein, Cass R., 1999. "Free Markets and Social Justice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102734.
    6. Bina Agarwal, 1997. "''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-51.
    7. Susan Donath, 2000. "The Other Economy: A Suggestion for a Distinctively Feminist Economics," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 115-123.
    8. 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 333-349, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marina Sánchez, 2015. "De la reproducción económica a la sostenibilidad de la vida," Revista de Economía Crítica, Asociación de Economía Crítica, vol. 19, pages 58-76.
    2. Jérôme De Henau, 2008. "Asymetric power within couples: the gendered effect of children and employment on entitlement to household income," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 51(2/3), pages 269-290.
    3. Suwastika Naidu, 2016. "Does Human Development Influence Women’s Labour Force Participation Rate? Evidences from the Fiji Islands," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 1067-1084, July.
    4. repec:ces:ifodic:v:6:y:2008:i:2:p:14567141 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Margit Schratzenstaller, 2008. "Gender Budgeting in Austria," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 6(2), pages 44-51, 07.
    6. Rhonda Sharp & Ray Broomhill, 2002. "Budgeting for Equality: The Australian Experience," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 25-47.
    7. Sarah Gammage, 2015. "Labour market institutions and gender equality," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 12, pages 315-339 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Carmen Echebarría Miguel & Mercedes Larrañaga Sarriegui, 2004. "La igualdad entre mujeres y hombres: una asignatura pendiente," CIRIEC-España, revista de economía pública, social y cooperativa, CIRIEC-España, issue 50, pages 11-35, November.
    9. Kijong Kim & Rania Antonopoulos, 2011. "Unpaid and Paid Care: The Effects of Child Care and Elder Care on the Standard of Living," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_691, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. repec:bla:gender:v:24:y:2017:i:1:p:69-82 is not listed on IDEAS

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