GI418      Half Unit
Feminist Economics and Policy: An Introduction

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ania Plomien, Prof Diane Perrons and Prof Naila Kabeer.


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management, MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Social Policy and Development and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


The course is run by the Gender Institute – an interdisciplinary institute. One of the key objectives is to bring a multi-perspectival approach to understanding of economic processes. As economic processes have a profound influence on social life, gender relations and gender equality, this course seeks to expose students interested in gender to the work of Feminist Economists.

An undergraduate level course in economics would be an advantage.

Course content

Recent decades have seen the emergence of gender equality as a key policy concern and Feminist Economics as a sub discipline. The purpose of the course is to consider the provenance and key tenets of Feminist Economics and how these ideas have been used to provide analytical understandings of gender issues with respect to economic processes and policies operating at macro and micro levels. At the macro level the course will analyse the implications of contemporary economic and financial governance from a gender perspective. At the micro level the course will analyse the economic foundations and analyses of gender inequality within employment and within the household focusing on wage and productivity differences and the gender division between ‘productive’ and ‘reproductive’ work. Gender is not the only economically significant marker of identity so it is important to analyse the intersectionality between other lines of difference, including race, social class, sexuality and migrant status. Individual well-being is also influenced by the level of development and transnational economic relations. Accordingly, the course aims to bridge the macro-micro divide by drawing together the gendered critique of existing biases in economic thinking and provide an analytical foundation for alternative approaches to policies that aim to contribute towards securing sustainable development and gender-equitable well-being.


10 hours of lectures, 10 hours of seminars and 6 hours of workshops in the LT.

Formative coursework

Essay (2000 words) in the LT.

Indicative reading

  • Berik,G., Rodgers,Y. and Seguino S. (2011) Inequality, Development, and Growth.
  • Budlender, D., Elson, D.,Hewitt, R. and Mukhopadhyay, T. (2002) Gender Budgets Make Cents.
  • Ferber, M. and Nelson, J. (2003) Feminist Economics Today Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics.
  • Folbre, N. (2009) Greed, Lust and Gender: A History of Economic Ideas.
  • Grown, C. and Valodia, I. (eds) (2010) Taxation and Gender Equity.
  • Nelson, J. (2006) Economics for Humans.
  • Nussbaum, M (2011) Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach.
  • Pujol, M. (1992) Feminism and Anti-Feminism in Early Economic Thought.
  • Sen, A (2010) The Idea of Justice.
  • Staveren,I, Elson, D.,Grown, C and Cagatay, N (2007) The Feminist Economics of Trade.
  • Young, B., Bakker,I. and Elson, D. (2011) Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Gender Institute

Total students 2012/13: 18

Average class size 2012/13: 10

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills