Jayati Ghosh – Mainstream Economics & Gender

In this fifth and final lecture in the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s “Feminist Economics” series, Professor Jayati Ghosh explores some of the shortcomings of mainstream economics. Heavily reliant on unrealistic assumptions and stylized models, mainstream economics has a narrow approach which often descends into trivial pursuits. Mainstream models tend to propose policies which are are not very relevant and sometimes even pernicious. Economics remains a male-dominated profession concentrated in the Global North, limiting its outlook. Prof. Ghosh urges economics to expand its scope and vision, and outlines several areas where economic policy can and should be adjusted to incorporate a gender-perspective and better address the particular challenges of developing countries. This includes incorporating into general economic policy consideration of relational time, counter-cyclical macroeconomic policy, reforming taxation regimes, and ensuring price stability of necessities and food security, which are areas that especially affect women. Prof. Ghosh also proposes micro policies beneficial to women, like reforming banking regulations and laws to enable financial inclusion, unionization, and the minimum wage. Prof. Ghosh finally considers the “Green New Deal”, and proposes to expand it to a “Multi-colored New Deal” to address a wider range of inequalities. Gender equality is not only good in itself, but also essential for the long-term viability of societies and economies.

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