Home Business and Economy You Won’t Believe How These Women Revolutionized Modern Economics!

You Won’t Believe How These Women Revolutionized Modern Economics!

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You Won’t Believe How These Women Revolutionized Modern Economics!

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Breaking Stereotypes: Women Who Shaped Modern Economics

When thinking of prominent economists, it is often men who come to mind. However, a new book by Rachel Reeves, the UK Labour party‚Äôs shadow chancellor, seeks to challenge this perception. “The Women Who Made Modern Economics” aims to shed light on the female thinkers and campaigners who have greatly influenced the discipline. Reeves hopes that by sharing their stories, these women can serve as role models and inspire greater diversity in the field.

The book covers a wide array of examples, showcasing women who played pivotal roles in shaping economic thought. Harriet Martineau, for instance, was instrumental in popularizing Adam Smith’s ideas, while Mary Paley Marshall co-authored a book with her husband, Alfred, on economic clusters. Anna Schwartz, despite being overshadowed by her male counterpart, Milton Friedman, played a key role in co-authoring “A Monetary History of the United States”.

Reeves, a former Bank of England economist, has written the book in a clear and accessible manner, providing insight into the lives and contributions of these female economists. However, some critics have raised concerns about portions of the text that appear to have been directly lifted without proper attribution from various sources, including Wikipedia and blogs. The book’s publisher has acknowledged the oversight and committed to rectifying it in future reprints.

Would Economics Be Different with Proper Recognition?

One question that arises from Reeves’s work is whether economics would deviate from its current trajectory if women’s contributions were fully recognized. Survey evidence suggests that female economists generally exhibit greater support for environmental protection, government intervention, and the acknowledgment of unequal opportunities between men and women.

However, it is challenging to pinpoint consistent patterns among the women studied in the book. While some, like Beatrice Webb, emphasized the importance of social welfare and minimum wage policies, others, like Martineau and Schwartz, held opposing views. Reeves emphasizes the disagreements among her subjects, ensuring a nuanced exploration of their diverse perspectives.

Challenging Assumptions and Seeking Credit

“The Women Who Made Modern Economics” not only showcases the brilliance of female economists who have shaped the global economy but also challenges readers’ preconceptions of the field. Reeves does not argue for a complete overhaul of economics with women in charge; rather, she aims to shed light on the overlooked contributions of these remarkable women.

Ultimately, the book serves as an audition piece for Reeves, displaying her serious and thoughtful approach to economics and positioning herself as a potential future leader of Britain’s economy. It also reminds us of the importance of giving credit where it is due.

The Women Who Made Modern Economics by Rachel Reeves is a thought-provoking read that delves into the untold stories of influential female economists.

Author: Soumaya Keynes, FT economics columnist

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