Sunday, March 25, 2012

Field choice: gender economics?

A little while back I mentioned American University's program in gender analysis in economics. Part of that is the potential for PhDs to do their field work in gender economics. I never even considered it before, until now.

The course schedule is pretty thin for fall semester - I'm taking Econometrics II and Macro Political Economy (required for the macro track that I'm on), but there weren't a lot of other options. I couldn't take the advanced macro theory class yet. There were some development and international classes but I'm not particularly interested in that for field work. And labor economics isn't offered. The one tempting field course is monetary economics, but then I looked closer at the microeconomics of gender course, and it looks pretty interesting. It's basically another labor class - female labor supply, household bargaining, unpaid work, etc. These are all critical topics for a labor economist.

As interesting as monetary economics is, I'm never going to be a hotshot macroeconomist. It's always going to be interesting to me, but I really have to think about what my actual career will be, and I'm going to be a labor economist of some variety (and that's interesting to me too, of course!). I'm wondering if I should just do field work in labor and gender economics (we choose two fields - my primary will still be labor), and still do the macro theory track (we choose one of three theory tracks - macro, micro, or hetrerodox).

Any thoughts? Is that too "out there"? I initially just figured it would not have much currency in the discipline, but when I look at the content of the courses it's actually really critical material to familiarize myself with.

The other nice thing about it for the fall is that it meets right after my econometrics course, which means (because we'll hopefully have this Sloan money so I don't have to TA) I'd be trekking up to AU for two days rather than four.


  1. I personally think that going for the monetary economics course wouldn't be a bad idea, as a broader knowledge of the stuff wouldn't hurt.

    But since you plan on being a labor economist, go for the gender analysis.

  2. One of my best undergraduate professors works with a lot of gender econ:

    The methods and approaches that gender-econ naturally encouraged can be applied really creatively in "traditional" labor work. So I'd really recommend it strongly.


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