Women and Economics

A New Zealand Feminist Perspective

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Print publication:

eBook publication:

Pages: 256

RRP: $0.00

ISBN: 9780908912612

ISTC: A022012000022344

Out of print – digital edition available through our BWB Collections platform.

Economist and feminist Prue Hyman explores the impact of economic policy on women, particularly during the last ten years. This provocative book is a powerful statement about the lives of women in New Zealand.

Women and Economics begins with a challenge to orthodox economic analysis and theory, and raises compelling argument in favour of a fresh approach to economics. This is followed by a details study of pay equity in the contemporary environment of the Employment Contracts Act, individual contracts, and reduced levels of collective bargaining. Here, international comparisons provide a wider framework. The role of the state in relation to economic independence and income maintenance is discussed with particular reference to the range of women’s experiences both within and outside the paid workforce. Special consideration is given to two areas of particular concern to women – the position of older women and housing policy.

Finally, Prue Hyman looks to the future, and suggests some exciting, and radical, avenues for reappraisal and change. Her message is clear: economic analysis must take on board the crucial contribution of women, not only as workers and consumers but also as critics of orthodox economic policy.


Part I: How Feminist Analysis Could and Should Change Economics
1. Feminist Critiques of Orthodox Economics and Why They are Neglected
2. ‘Mitigating Misery’: the Co-option and Twisting of Feminist Arguments

Part II: Equal Pay and Pay Equity Struggles
3. The History and Concepts of Equal Pay and Pay Equity in New Zealand
4. Job Evaluation and Levels of Industrial Bargaining
5. International Comparisons: the Earnings Gap and Pay Equity
6. Equal Pay for Women After the Employment Contracts Act

Part III: A Modest Safety Net? Women, the State and Social Policy
7. The State, Income Maintenance and Economic Independence for Women
8. Income Adequacy for Older Women
9. Women and Housing Policy

Part IV: The Future
10. The Last 100 Years and Prospects for Positive Change