Document Type


Publication Date

June 2010


Orthodox neoclassical economics portrays reason as far more important than emotion, autonomy as more characteristic of economic life than social connection, and, more generally, things culturally and cognitively associated with masculinity as more central than things associated with femininity. Research from contemporary neuroscience suggests that such biases are related to certain automatic processes in the brain, and feminist scholarship suggests ways of getting beyond them. The “happiness” and “interpersonal relations” economics research programs have made substantial progress in overcoming a number of these biases, bringing into consideration by economists a wide range of phenomena which were previously neglected. Analysis from a feminist economics perspective suggests several fronts on which research could most profitably continue.


Revision of Global Development Working Paper No. 09-07 (available for download here).

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