Feminism, Fairness, and Welfare: An Invitation to Feminist Law and Economics

Citation:

Hadfield, Gillian K. 2005. “Feminism, Fairness, and Welfare: An Invitation to Feminist Law and Economics.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 1 (1): 285–306.

Author: Gillian K. Hadfield

Abstract:

In recent years there has been a renewed effort to ground conventional law and economics methodology, with its exclusive focus on efficiency and income redistribution through the tax system, in modern welfare economics (Kaplow & Shavell 1994, 2001). This effort raises a challenge to the possibility of a feminist law and economics: Is it possible to be a good (welfare) economist and still maintain the ethical and political commitments necessary to address feminist concerns with, for example, rights, inequality, and caring labor? In this review, I argue that modern welfare economics, rather than supporting the ethical minimalism of conventional methodology advocated by Kaplow and Shavell, ratifies the need for an ethically and politically informed economic analysis. Feminists can, and should, use the tools of both positive and normative economics to analyze feminist issues in law.

Keywords: welfare economics, care, justice, efficiency, normative, ethics

Topics: Class, Economies, Care Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Rights

Year: 2005

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