Economic measurement and feminist economics: an Austrian approach
27 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2021
Date Written: July 15, 2021
In trying to construct a more humanistic economic science in which women’s contribution is duly acknowledged, feminist economics proposes quantitative methods to compute non-market activities in traditional or novel economic indicators. Additionally, feminist economists seek to refocus economists’ attention from material dimensions such as income to subjective categories such as well-being. For this purpose, the capability approach is introduced to widen the concept of well-being beyond materialistic, gendered conceptions. However, from a subjectivist Austrian viewpoint, it is erroneous to quantitatively measure non-market activities and subjective dimensions such as well-being or happiness. Moreover, the use of quantitative methods (including the capability approach) strengthens a gender dichotomy --rigor is associated with quantitative techniques, an androcentric bias--, leading feminist economics to a contradiction. It is more coherent to use a qualitative methodology, such as that provided by Austrian economics, to study and describe economic phenomena and so that the contribution of women can be more accurately highlighted.
Keywords: Austrian economics, feminist economics, economic indicators, methodology, subjectivism
JEL Classification: B53, B54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation