New Home Economics

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New Home Economics is an approach to the study of consumption, labor supply, and other family decisions that centers on the household rather than the individual and emphasizes the importance of household production.[1]

History of the New Home Economics[edit]

Together, Gary Becker and Jacob Mincer founded the NHE in the 1960s at the labor workshop at Columbia University that they both directed.[2]

Among the first NHE publications were Becker (1960) on fertility,[3] Mincer (1962) on women’s labor supply,[4] and Becker (1965) on the allocation of time.[5][6] Students and faculty who attended the Becker/Mincer workshop at Columbia in the 1960s and have published in the NHE tradition include Andrea Beller, Barry Chiswick, Carmel Chiswick, Victor Fuchs, Michael Grossman (a specialist on the demand for health care), Robert Michael, June O'Neill, Sol Polachek, and Robert Willis. James Heckman was also influenced by the NHE tradition and attended the labor workshop at Columbia from 1969 until his move to the University of Chicago. The NHE may be seen as a subfield of family economics.

NHE was criticized in April 2013. In response to data of a lack of progress in women rising to top positions in the United States, Becker told Wall Street Journal reporter David Wessel, "A lot of barriers [to women and blacks] have been broken down. That's all for the good. It's much less clear what we see today is the result of such artificial barriers. Going home to take care of the kids when the man doesn't: Is that a waste of a woman's time? There's no evidence that it is." This view was then criticized by Charles Jones: "There are still men holding jobs that women would do better."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana (2005). "A model of Labour Supply, Household Production and Marriage". In Hoa, Tran Van. Advances in Household Economics, Consumer Behaviour and Economic Policy. Ashgate. p. 27. ISBN 0-7546-4399-9. 
  2. ^ Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana “The New Home Economics at Columbia and Chicago.” Feminist Economics 7(3) :103-130.
  3. ^ Becker, Gary S. 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility." In National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, a Conference of the Universities. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press
  4. ^ Mincer, Jacob (1962). "Labor Force Participation of Married Women: a Study of Labor Supply". In Lewis, H. Gregg. Aspects of Labor Economics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 
  5. ^ Becker, Gary S. (1965). "A Theory of the Allocation of Time". The Economic Journal 75 (299): 493–517. JSTOR 2228949. 
  6. ^ The industrious revolution: consumer behavior and the household economy. Jan De Vries. 2008. Cambridge. p.26
  7. ^ Wessel, David (April 3, 2013). "The Economics of Leaning In". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 April 2013.