Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Male bias in macro-economics???

I know that many of the Diaries here are long and complex, but hopefully this diary is just to get some ideas on a question that the bloggers here might be able to help with. The question is posed in the following manner:
“Male bias in macro-economics is not only bad for women; it is also bad for the prospects of setting in train a process of sustainable development.” (Elson, 1991)
Discuss this statement in the context of the effects of structural adjustment policies on the role of women in the development process.
[what do the articles] reveal about the respective roles of women and men in employment and in the household.

Here are the list of "sources" to begin with, but there is no restrictions on source of information to answer the question:
Boserup, Ester (1970) Women’s Role in Economic Development, London: George Allen &

Boserup, Ester (1991) ‘Economic Change and the Roles of Women’ in Tinker (ed.)

Elson, Diane (1991) ‘Male Bias in Macroeconomics: The case of structural adjustment’
in Elson (ed.)Male Bias in the Development Process, Manchester University Press,

Evans, Alison (1991) ‘Gender Issues in Rural Household Economics’, IDS Bulletin, Vol
22, No 1.

Moser, C. (1993) ‘Gender roles, the family and the household’, Chapter 2 from Rationale
for Gender Planning in the Third World, pp 29–34, London: Routledge.

I know most of the list of sources are not available on-line so a couple of links of note that is related to the concepts are here and hopefully maybe others might have some links that might help answer the question:

Caroline O.N. Moser, "Gender Planning in the Third World: Meeting Practical and Strategic Gender Needs", World Development, Vol. 17, No. 11, pp. 1799-1825, 1989.
In this seminal article the author proposes a gender roles framework for gender planning that leads to a differentiation of needs. The argument is based conceptually on the identification of the triple role of women and makes the distinction between practical and strategic needs articulated here for the first time. Welfare and efficiency approaches to low income and Third World Women are critiqued from a gender planning perspective and emphasis placed on the need for shifting policy towards an anti-poverty, equity and empowerment approach.

Caroline O.N. Moser, Gender Planning and Development: Theory, Practice & Training, Routledge: London and New York, 1993.
Gender planning is defined as a new and transformative planning tradition, one that seeks to empower women. The need for differentiation of gender roles and needs in society is considered the conceptual basis for gender planning and constitutes the basis for a critique of existing development policy and practice. Institutionalization of gender planning and operational procedures for implementing gender policies, programmes and projects are central subjects for consideration. The distinction between a technical planning methodology to meet women's practical needs and a 'political' methodology to meet women's strategic needs informs much of the discussion including the outlines for gender training methodology.
What do you think?

Since NCE is a hot subject here and may be related to this subject and I suspect that many here are Keynesians {hopefully Neo-Keynesians}, let me provide another quote from Elson's paper that may prompt a response:
When challenged, economists do not deny that human resources require inputs of caring and cooking, of nurturing and nursing; and do not deny that responsibility for providing these inputs lies chiefly with women. But macro-economic thinking assumes that it is perfectly correct to proceed as if such activities were not required because they would be undertaken regardless of changes in the level and composition of national income. This assumption may be based either on the idea that reproduction and maintenance of human resources is undertaken for love, not money, and is therefore not responsive to economic changes (Roston (1983) argues that Keynes's macro-economics is based on this assumption); or on the idea that changes in the level and composition of national income have no impact on the relative costs and benefits of maintaining and reproducing human resources. This assumption would be more consistent with neo-classical economics, which does assume that the reproduction and maintenance of human resources is responsive to economic signals (for example, Becker, 1976). Both the Keynesian and the neo-classical view are one-sided. Unpaid domestic labour is not carried out entirely for love, disregarding the economic costs and benefits; but neither is it simply another economic activity. The process of the reproduction and maintenance of human resources is different from any other kind of production because human resources are treated as having an intrinsic value, not merely an instrumental value. ...

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