Feminist Economics and Informal Labor Markets

Saturday, November 20, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

This panel will show how gendered analysis can enhance and improve economic policies. It will highlight different forms of informal work, typically undertaken by women, such as sex work, care work, and unpaid labor at the household. It will discuss how these forms of labor are gendered as feminine work and thus undervalued, unprotected, and underappreciated in the formal capitalist economy and how they can be transformed.


Dr. Julie A. Nelson is Emeritus Professor of Economics at theUniversity of Massachusetts Boston. Her research interests include feminist economics, economic methodology, ecological economics, ethics and economics, and the empirical study of household and individual behavior. Her books include Gender and Risk-Taking: Economics, Evidence, and Why the Answer Matters (2017), Economics for Humans(2nd ed., 2018), and Feminism, Objectivity, and Economics(1996). She has published in journals ranging from Econometrica and the Journal of Political Economy to Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and EcologicalEconomics. She is a former Associate Editor of FeministEconomics and a past President of the Association for SocialEconomics. 

Dr. Barbara G. Brents is a Professor of Sociology at theUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her research interests are in sexuality, gender, and politics in market culture. She is the co-author of Paying for Sex in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2020)and The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex, and Sin in the New American Heartland (Routledge, 2010) on Nevada’s legal brothels. She is the author of several articles on sexual commerce, sexual consumption, emotional and body labor, legal issues, sex trafficking, and Nevada’s legal brothels that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals. She is currently conducting transnational research comparing how different legal systems impact sex workers’ experiences.

Dr. Ana Maria Tribin is a public policy specialist at UNDP-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). She holds a Master’s and a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University. She previously worked at the Colombian Central Bank as SeniorResearch Economist and as the President´s High Commissioner for Women’s Equality with the Colombian government. Her areas of research are gender, migration, and development economics. She is the author of several papers published in international books and journals and a book editor.