The Rethinking Economics India Network is a national network of the global Rethinking Economics movement that aims to bring together an ecosystem of stakeholders in the space - individuals, universities, civil society, and the private sector, in order to scale collaborative efforts for teaching, learning, and discussion of pluralist economics. 

Started in June 2020, the network has grown from a 12 members team to 70+ volunteers. Until now, they have organised events on the need for heterodox and pluralist economics, on the informal labour economy in India etc. For the coming months, webinars and workshops on better economics for climate change, and diversity within the discipline of economics are on the drawing board. Among many other initiatives, they are also simultaneously building a database of resources that would help facilitate teaching and learning of heterodox and pluralist economics, and also to help in advocating for curriculum reform in economics programs in the future. You can refer to the website for further information.

Feminist Economics

This edition of the newsletter is meant to serve as an introduction to Feminist Economics. We cover resources (from articles to Youtube videos and podcasts) to help you learn about the fundamentals and history of Feminist Economics. We also include research done by Feminist Economists to illustrate how a feminist lens translates into research on topics ranging from poverty and social protection to manual scavenging.

Additionally, the newsletter contains information on jobs shared by Women in Econ & Policy members over WhatsApp. The newsletter also contains work by fellow members. We hope to continue highlighting work by the fantastic women in our community - make sure to check it out, and share your work with us for future editions.
What is Feminist Economics?
An introduction to Feminist Economics by Exploring Economics (an open access, e-learning platform on pluralist economics): Covers the core elements of feminist economics, as well as terminologies, methodoloy, ideology and current debates.

Go over the explainer

Watch here: Diana Strassmann, Rice University professor and founder of the journal "Feminist Economics," discusses Feminist Economics and her work shifting economics from a discipline of neglect to one of care and inclusion
Podcast Recommendation - True Currency: About Feminist Economics: This six-episode podcast series presents detailed testimonials from academic researchers, policy experts, community leaders and activists; and explores financial inequality, feminism, intersectionality, labour exploitation, unpaid work, care, unionisation and reproductive labour.

Listen to the podcast here

Why We Need Feminist Economics: Professor Naila Kabeer looks back over the history of feminist economics and outlines her reasons why it matters for the future.

Read the article here

The Difficult Art Of Being A Feminist In An Economics Classroom: A short anecdotal piece on how the very fundamentals of the Economics we learn are based in discriminatory, elitist ideals, and the flawed concept of a "rational economic man". 

Read the article here

Syllabus of Wellesley College’s course on Feminist Economics: Read about feminist economics in more detail by going through the syllabus and reading list of this course on Feminist Economics taught by Professor Julie Matthaei. 

Go through the syllabus here.

View previous editions of the newsletter on our website

Featured photos are posters created by the SeE Red Women's Workshop (read about them here

Feminist Economics Research

Gender, poverty, and inequality: a brief history of feminist contributions in the field of international development: This paper by Naila Kabeer provides a brief history of feminist contributions to the analysis of gender, poverty, and inequality in the field of international development. It draws out the continuous threads running through these contributions over the years, as the focus has moved from micro-level analysis to a concern with macro-level forces
Bargaining and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household: This paper by Bina Agarwal outlines some aspects critical for understanding intra-household dynamics from a gender perspective that existing household models either miss out altogether, or do not adequately address.
The power of numbers in gender dynamics: illustrations from community forestry groups : This paper by Bina Agarwal argues that the power of numbers and implicitly shared interests can, in themselves, go a long way towards improving outcomes for the disadvantaged, although a conscious recognition and collective articulation of shared interests can further enhance effectiveness. The shift from implicitly shared interests to their collective expression, however, will require a concerted engagement with intra-group dynamics and processes of group formation and democratic deliberation. Drawing on the author’s empirical results relating to community forestry groups in South Asia, it demonstrates that a critical mass of ‘women in-themselves’ can make a notable difference even without a ‘women-for-themselves’ social consciousness. 
Markets and Spillover Effects of Political Institutions in Promoting Women’s Empowerment: Evidence From India: This study presents fresh evidence that market interventions aimed at empowering women are more effective in the presence of formal political institutions, using the case of political reservations for women in Indian local governments with data from 2,423 households in 100 Indian villages. Read the paper here
Manual Scavenging: Women Face Double Discrimination as Caste and Gender Inequalities Converge: An article on the condition of manual scavenging from a caste-based and gender-based lens. Read the article here.
What Constraints Financial Inclusion for the Transgender Community? Field-based Evidences from Odisha (India)This study discusses the status, importance and key challenges of financial inclusion among the transgender community of Odisha, citing both both demand side and supply side factors as responsible for this exclusion.
Proactive vs reactive social protection: A short explainer video featuring Professor Naila Kabeer on the need for a social protection/security mechanism that incorporates the effects of exclusion faced by marginalised communities. Watch the video here
Book Recommendation - Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour: This book traces the social origins of the sexual division of labor. It gives a history of the related processes of colonization and 'housewifization' and extends this analysis to the contemporary new international division of labor and the role which women have to play as the cheapest producers and consumers.

Work by members

Smriti Saini, along with her colleague Shweta Gupta at International Food Policy Research Institute, write for SurveyCTO's Safe Data Initiative. They document the methodological and logistical challenges faced in conducting surveys with over 3000 respondents in India and Nepal. The blog also presents insights to maneuver around unexpected challenges arising from concerns such as response bias and respondent privacy. Read the blog here.

Tara Mohandas writes about how pandemics, like wars and natural calamities, affect men and women differently, with issues like increased domestic violence, risks to female health workers, impact on reproductive health and the growing care burden falling on women. Read her article here.

Abhilasha Sardana evaluates how the economic concept of externality falls short when it comes to explaining climate change. Read her thoughts on climate change and negative externalities here

The Long-Term Effects of Management and Technology Transfers: Michela Giorcelli's paper examines the long-run causal effects of management on firm performance. She exploits an unexpected budget cut in the United States Technical Assistance and Productivity Program (1952–1958) that reduced the number of participating firms and finds that, compared to businesses excluded by the budget cut: performance of Italian firms that sent their managers to the United States increased for at least fifteen years after the program; performance of companies that received new machines increased, but flattened out over time; management and new machines were complementary. Read the paper here.

Gender-based price discrimination in the annuity market: Evidence from Chile: Using transaction-level data,
Piera Bello
 studies gender-based price discrimination in the annuity market. She exploits the fact that, in Chile, individuals can access the annuity market through 3 different channels: an independent financial advisor, a sales agent at a company, or directly. She shows that women who consult sales agents pay higher transaction prices compared to other women, while there is no variation in men’s prices across the 3 channels for market access. Additional evidence shows that this is not driven by differences in negotiation skills but rather by differences in initial prices. Read the paper here.

LEAD at Krea University, under its Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) conducted a study on understanding the state of market access and enterprise readiness among women entrepreneurs in the handicrafts and handlooms sectors. The study was conducted across Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Ria Dutta presents insights from the study in this article. To know more about the study, read the detailed report written by Ria and other co-authors here.

Shafali Sharma and Payal Soneja reached out to 16 field investigators and 35 development sector professionals across India to hear their concerns and recommendations regarding data collection.  They find that data collectors demonstrate a strong inclination to work in the social sector – which now brings the onus upon researchers to engage with them, prioritise their inclusion at every phase of the study, and incentivise them to achieve high-quality results. Read the article here

India’s Electric Vehicle Transition: 
Harsimran Kaur (and co-authors) explore the impact of India’s electric vehicle transition on India’s economic recovery. The report examines the impact of a 30 per cent EV sales share in 2030 on domestic value-addition, jobs, crude oil imports, revenue generated from taxes, local pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Read the report here.

Renuka Bhatt is a politico-economic researcher. She has previously worked with Monk Prayogshala, a non-profit humanities research organisation. She has also written for student journals including The FEAS Journal, The Parley Project and Economikly. Read about her projects here

Riddhi Malhotra writes about 15-minute cities: The idea is to create neighbourhoods where everything essential to the needs of the residents shall be made accessible within 15 minutes, that is, niche requirements such as workplaces, schools, healthcare, shops, restaurants, leisure facilities, and parks. Read more here.

Maanya Kalra writes about the Netflix show Indian Matchmaking (here) and imagining the world a hundred years from now (here). 

Reinforcing Gender Norms or Easing Housework Burdens? The Role of Mothers-in-Law in Determining Women’s Labor Force Participation:
Madhulika Khanna and Divya Pande's paper looks at how co-residing mother-in-laws affect a woman's labour force participation. A coresiding mother-in-law may restrict women’s labor force participation as the custodian of gender-specific social norms, but may also help by taking on housework responsibilities. Using a nationally representative panel dataset from India, they use the exogenous variation in the mother-in-law’s death to empirically investigate which effect dominates. They show that a mother-in-law’s death reduces her daughter-in-law’s laborforce participation by 10 percent in an individual fixed-effects model. Read the paper here

Akshita Sharma looks at  stubble burning in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her paper analyses the implementation of key policy measures undertaken over the years to address it, from a behavioural perspective of the farmer. It also assesses the scope for greater private sector engagement in abating stubble burning and suggests some policy actions towards the end. Read the paper here

Literacy in India: The gender and age dimension: This brief, by
Tanushree Chandna, examines the literacy landscape in India between 1987 and 2017, focusing on the gender gap in four age cohorts: children, youth, working-age adults, and the elderly. It finds that the gender gap in literacy has shrunk substantially for children and youth, but the gap for older adults and the elderly has seen little improvement. Read the brief here


Note: These are jobs shared by members over WhatsApp over the last 2 weeks. Please check if positions are still open before applying. If you are thinking about applying to one of these, you can also drop a message on the WhatsApp group or on the google group  to connect with members currently working in these organisations.
1. One or more postdoctoral fellowships in economics are being offered through Columbia University to be supervised by Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz. The fellowships will focus on research in inequality; macroeconomics, including research advancing our understanding of the explanations of deep downturns and structural transformations, macro-economic externalities, financial market and other market interlinkages, etc. The fellowships will last up to two years in duration. More information is available here
2. The Department of Economic and Technological Change of the Center for Development Research, University of Bonn (Prof. Joachim von Braun) invites applications for the position of Postdoctoral Researcher ( Development Economics related to food, agriculture, and rural change). More information here

3. Haqdarshak is looking for Managers/ Senior Managers based out of Bangalore/ Hyderabad heading Zonal Operations. More information is available here

4. Ashoka Centre for Economic Policy (ACEP) seeks to hire full-time Research Associate (RA) to work with Prof. Arvind Subramanian, its founding Director and former Chief Economic Advisor. More information is available here

5. J-PAL SA, based at the Institute of Financial Research and Management in India, seeks a Project Manager under its newly launched initiative on Creating Learning Opportunities for Public Officials (CLOP) in India. More information is available here

6. A group of researchers including Prof Anisha Sharma are looking for a Delhi-based research associate to work on a project on social networks, political participation and social media. Fluency in Hindi critical. Quant skills preferred. More details here.

7. Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) is now recruiting applicants for our Research Fellow Program. View open positions and learn how to apply here

8. View job openings at The Development Impact Evaluation (DIME), World Bank here. (Includes positions in Rwanda, Washington DC, India, etc)

9. Prof. Neetha from CWDS, Delhi is looking for a Research Associate who can work on a project report on Farmers' Suicides in Punjab. This report is for the Punjab Farmer's Commission. This would be a 10-month long project, starting from Dec'20. The work involves field work, data analysis and report writing. Remuneration would be Rs. 30,000 per month. Those interested please contact Vaishali (9811323331).

10. Language and Learning Foundation (LLF), led by Dr.Dhir Jhingran (Ex-IAS, Ministry of Education), is looking to hire 3 key positions for their New Delhi office in partnership with Central Square Foundation: Senior/Program Manager- Strategy and Learning, Senior/Program Manager- State Programs, Associate Director - Fundraising. Job descriptions are available here

11. Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) is looking to hire a Consultant (Housing) on a project related to creating a functioning land and housing market for the urban poor. More details are available here
Have thoughts on our eighth newsletter, or ideas for other activities we should consider? Follow us on Twitter, shoot us an email or fill out this feedback form! We’d love to hear from you and work on what we can do better!
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