How can women help improve economics? | Robert Johnson on Elinor C. Ostrom. The presence of women will transform how people teach and study economics, says Robert Johnson President of the Institute of New Economic Thinking.

The results of economic analysis also lead directly to ethical issues. For example, one result of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century debate over capitalism and socialism is a general consensus that capitalism is effective at producing wealth and socialism is effective at keeping people poor. Advocates of capitalism use these results to argue that capitalism is good; others might respond that “socialism is good in theory, but unfortunately it is not practical.” Implicit in the capitalist position is the view that practical consequences determine goodness. By contrast, implicit in the position of those who believe socialism to be an impractical moral ideal is the view that goodness is distinct from practical consequences.

As someone with a PHD in Social Ethics, I tend to see economic issues as intimately connected with ethical  issues. Take the economic practice of doing a cost-benefit analysis. You could spend one hundred dollars for a night on the town, or you could donate that one hundred dollars to the reelection campaign of your favorite politician. Which option is better? The night on the town increases pleasure. A politician’s successful campaign may lead to more liberty in the long term. We regularly make decisions like this, weighing our options by measuring their likely costs and likely benefits against each other.

This connects economics directly to a major issue in ethics: By what standard do we determine what counts as a benefit or a cost? A list of competing candidates for the status of ultimate value standard includes happiness, satisfying the will of God, long-term survival, liberty, duty, and equality.

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Economists implicitly adopt a value framework when beginning a cost-benefit analysis. Different value commitments can lead to the same item being considered a cost from one perspective and a benefit from another. For example, those whose standard of value is increasing human happiness would count a new road to a scenic mountain vista as a benefit, while those whose standard is maintaining an unchanged natural environment would count it as a cost.

How Economics Forgot about Women, Katrine Marçal a different economic perspective with a theory that challenges the myth of ‘economic man’.

Sample 1st Paragraph for the MSc Degree in Environmental Economics, Indian Applicant, NGO Experience

I am a young woman from India who is most passionate about both economic development and the importance of preserving our environment. For some time now, my energy as a student and a professional have been geared towards the study of green growth, both as an undergraduate student finishing my degree in Economics at the University of Dehli, and particularly since I graduated in 2011. I have experience working for a pro-environment NGO in the area of waste disposal and I also completed an internship with India’s planning commission in the area of forest management.

Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012)

This impressive woman held the only Nobel Prize in economics ever awarded to a woman. She decided not to pursue a Ph.D. in economics, and completed one in political science instead.

Her work on the formal and informal political institutions that influence an economy had enormous influence on a discipline that had become more scientific and mathematical, bringing back some of the more politically-focused work that was more common 100 years ago.

Ostrom is associated with New Institutional Economics, and now continues to work in this field in a more limited capacity.

Economics is a fascinating and useful field that needs more women within it! Are you game? If so, we support you! In fact, the subject you´d like to learn about is quite immaterial! We´d love to support you in your career, and send you careering towards success. Get in touch if you have any queries about how we can do this.