The marginalization of women in economics has a history as long as the discipline itself. Throughout the history of economics, women contributed substantial novel ideas, methods of inquiry, and analytical insights, with much of this discounted, ignored, or shifted into alternative disciplines and writing outlets.

This handbook presents new and much-needed analytical research of women’s contributions in the history of economic thought, focusing primarily on the period from the 1770s into the beginning of the 21st century. Chapters address the institutional, sociological and historical factors that have influenced women economists’ thinking, and explore women’s contributions to economic analysis, method, policies and debates. Coverage is international, moving beyond Europe and the US into the Arab world, China, India, Japan, Latin America, Russia and the Soviet Union, and sub-Saharan Africa. This new global perspective adds depth as well as scope to our understanding of women’s contribution to the history of economic thought.

The book offers crucial new insights into previously underexplored work by women in the history of economic thought, and will prove to be a seminal volume with relevance beyond that field, into women’s studies, sociology, and history. 

chapter |10 pages


part I|100 pages

Beginning prior to 1850

chapter 2|20 pages

English women’s economic thought in the 1790s

Domestic economy, married women’s economic dependence, and access to professions

chapter 3|20 pages

British women on the British Empire

chapter 4|17 pages

Harriet Taylor Mill, Mary Paley Marshall and Beatrice Potter Webb

Women economists and economists’ wives

part II|98 pages

Beginning in the late 19th century

chapter 7|21 pages

Is equal pay worth it?

Beatrice Potter Webb’s, Millicent Garrett Fawcett’s and Eleanor Rathbone’s changing arguments

chapter 9|22 pages

Anecdotes of discrimination

Barriers to women’s participation in economic thought during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

chapter 10|18 pages

The point is to change it

Three lives of applied Marxism

part III|98 pages

Beginning in the early 20th century

chapter 11|18 pages

Women economists in the academy

Struggles and strategies, 1900–1940

chapter 12|21 pages

Daughters of Commons

Wisconsin women and Institutionalism

chapter 13|22 pages

Women economists of promise?

Six Hart, Schaffner and Marx Prize winners in the early twentieth century 1

chapter 14|18 pages

Early women economists at Columbia University

Contributions in the struggle for labor protection in the Lochner era

chapter 15|17 pages

Chinese economic development and Chinese women economists

A study of overseas doctoral dissertations

part IV|66 pages

Spanning the mid-20th century

chapter 19|15 pages

The two faces of economic forecasting in Italy

Vera Cao Pinna and Almerina Ipsevich

part V|82 pages

Beginning mid-20th, extending into the 21st century

chapter 22|21 pages

The invisible ones

Women at CEPAL (1948–2017) 1

chapter 23|14 pages

Women’s employment in the Informal Sector in Developing Countries

Contributions of Lourdes Benería and Martha (Marty) Chen