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Class and gender in Europe, before and during the economic crisis

Listed author(s):
  • Marcella Corsi
  • Carlo D'Ippoliti

While we do not mean to imply that there are insurmountable or even clear distinctions between the social sciences, we claim that economists can still provide an original analysis of class, which should be regarded as complementary to those developed by sociologists. Following the tradition of British Classical economists, by a ‘economic approach’ we mean here the study of the production and distribution of income, that is of the conditions of societal survival and reproduction over time. From this perspective, a good deal of feminist literature has already shown the relevance of gender relations both at home and in the market.Thus, the aim of this work is to reopen the debate among economists (beyond the specific schools that already do) on the expediency of some form of joint class and gender analysis. We restrict the attention to the objective relations of production and distribution of income that is we abstract from individuals’ own understanding and representation of classes, or their identification within the class structure. Employing the EU-SILC database, we develop an example and tentative empirical application of our approach to the recent trends in the European Union. Amongour preliminary conclusions are the observations that the “99% vs. 1%” debate seriously risks misleading a well-founded class analysis, that within the household redistribution may matter more than usually expected, and that the on-going economic crisis is producing a loss of income mainly concentrated in the working class, though with some reduction of within-class inequality.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 13-027.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2013
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/144278
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  1. Fabrizio Botti & Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2012. "The gendered nature of multidimensional poverty in the European Union," Working Papers CEB 12-026, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Corsi, Marcella & D'Ippoliti, Carlo, 2010. "The productivity of the public sector in OECD countries: eGovernment as driver of efficiency and efficacy," MPRA Paper 21051, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2008. "What Is Middle Class about the Middle Classes around the World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 3-28, Spring.
  4. Danièle Meulders & Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2011. "Revisiting poverty measures towards individualisation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/135823, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Samphantharak,Krislert & Townsend,Robert M., 2010. "Households as Corporate Firms," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521195829, December.
  6. Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2012. "Introduction: there is more to Keynesianism than public spending alone," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 65(260), pages 3-10.
  7. Schmoller, Gustav, 1914. "Class Conflict in General," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 20, pages 504-531.
  8. Zdravka Todorova, 2009. "Money and Households in a Capitalist Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13178.
  9. D’Ippoliti, Carlo, 2011. "Economics And Diversity," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 562-564, December.
  10. Folbre, Nancy, 1982. "Exploitation Comes Home: A Critique of the Marxian Theory of Family Labour," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 317-329, December.
  11. Roncaglia,Alessandro, 2006. "The Wealth of Ideas," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521691871, December.
  12. Joseph Eisenhauer, 2008. "An Economic Definition of the Middle Class," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 37(2), pages 103-113, August.
  13. Joseph Eisenhauer, 2008. "An Economic Definition of the Middle Class," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 103-113, January.
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