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Women Economists in the 1890s: Journals, Books and the Old Palgrave

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 June 2009

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Just over a century ago two noteworthy books in economics were published by women, contrary to the widespread modern impression that women's participation in economics is a recent phenomenon. Charlotte Perkins Gilman published Women and Economics (1898a, cf. Gilman 1898b), a landmark work of feminist and institutionalist economics (see M. A. Dimand 1995b). Rosa Luxemburg published The Industrial Development of Poland (1898) based on her 1897 Zurich doctoral dissertation. This distinguished contribution showed promise of the great abilities displayed in her magnum opus, The Accumulation of Capital (1913), a study that deserves recognition for its importance in macrodynamics and the theory of economic growth as well as in Marxian economics (see Joan Robinson's introduction to the 1951 translation). These two authors stand as giants in the history of economics–or would do so, if historians of economics were paying attention–but they were very far from being the only women contributing to economics in the 1890s.

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