As part of the Roosevelt Institute’s ongoing ‘Feminomics’ series, running on the New Deal 2.0 blog, June Carbone was asked to reflect on women’s changing roles in the economy. Her essay is available here and was also featured on the HuffPo. Here is how it begins:
Family structure in the United States magnifies class-based inequality and undermines the human capital of the next generation. Yet, the ideas that helped secure a Nobel Prize in economics for Chicago economist Gary Becker still provide the starting point for every discussion of the economics of the family, and if followed, would produce an economy that looks like Yemen’s.
Becker won the Nobel Prize at least in part because of his identification of marriage with specialization and trade: men “specialize” in the market and women in the home. His critical prediction: with the wholesale movement of women into the labor market, the gains from marriage would decline and family instability would rise. Yet, it is the blue states — and the families who combine dual careers with egalitarian relationships — that show the biggest drop in divorce rates and brightest spots in in a failing economy.
Becker cannot explain these results because he confused efficiency with domination — and failed to see the advantages of ending it. …
Read the entire piece here.