Who Pays for the Kids?: Gender and the Structures of Constraint, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Who Pays for the Kids?

Gender and the Structures of Constraint, 1st Edition

By Nancy Folbre


348 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415075657
pub: 1994-01-06
Hardback: 9780415075640
pub: 1994-01-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429229183
pub: 1994-01-06
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Three paradoxes surround the division of the costs of social reproduction:

* Women have entered the paid labour force in growing numbers, but they continue to perform most of the unpaid labour of housework and childcare.

* Birth rates have fallen but more and more mothers are supporting children on their own, with little or no assistance from fathers.

* The growth of state spending is often blamed on malfunctioning markets, or runaway bureaucracies. But a large percentage of social spending provides substitutes for income transfers that once took place within families.

Who Pays for the Kids? explains how this paradoxical situation has arisen. The costs of social reproduction are largely paid by women: men have remained extremely reluctant to pay their share of the costs of raising the next generation. Traditional theories - neo-classical, Marxist and Feminist - can only provide an incomplete account of this, and this book offers an alternative analysis, based on individual choices but within interlocking structures of constraint based on gender, age, sex, nation, race and class.


`Anyone would be a better economist, or just a clearer thinker, after reading this book.' Professor Robert M. Solow, Nobel Laureate in Economics

About the Series

Economics as Social Theory

Social Theory is experiencing something of a revival within economics. Critical analyses of the particular nature of the subject matter of social studies and of the types of method, categories and modes of explanation that can legitimately be endorsed for the scientific study of social objects, are re-emerging. Economists are again addressing such issues as the relationship between agency and structure, between economy and the rest of society, and between the enquirer and the object of enquiry. There is a renewed interest in elaborating basic categories such as causation, competition, culture, discrimination, evolution, money, need, order, organization, power probability, process, rationality, technology, time, truth, uncertainty, value etc.

The objective for this series is to facilitate this revival further. In contemporary economics the label “theory” has been appropriated by a group that confines itself to largely asocial, ahistorical, mathematical “modelling”. Economics as Social Theory thus reclaims the “Theory” label, offering a platform for alternative rigorous, but broader and more critical conceptions of theorizing.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General