Institutions, Property and Gender Inequality: It's Time to Change the Rules!

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The Robert Heilbroner Memorial Lecture on the Future of Capitalism is sponsored by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA | http://www.economicpolicyresearch.org). Institutions embody the “rules of the game in a society,” according to Nobel Laureate Douglas North. These human-devised constraints shape people’s interactions—political, social and economic—and establish a stable social structure. But what if the rules are deeply unequal, devised largely by the powerful? And is stability which entrenches inequality even desirable? Noted economist Bina Agarwal’s lecture demonstrates how women face deep inequalities in rules and norms, which, in turn, create severe inequalities in their access to both private and public property. Based on her research, she challenges standard economic analysis to show how these inequalities undermine both economic efficiency and social justice. She also outlines pathways for change, such as enhancing women’s bargaining power in multiple arenas: the family, community, markets, and state. Department of Economics | Agarwal is an award-winning author whose most recent three volume compendium, “Gender Challenges,” unravels the nature of gender inequality in multiple institutions: those governing agriculture, property, and the environment. She is orofessor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, UK. Prior to this, she was director and professor of economics at the Institute of Economic Growth at Delhi University. THE NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH | The Robert Heilbroner Memorial Lecture on the Future of Capitalism: The Heilbroner lecture honors the work of Robert Heilbroner, who was both a student and a professor in the economics department of The New School for Social Research. This event is dedicated to understanding questions of economic justice and how the profit-seeking activities of private firms might also serve broader social goals. To use Heilbroner’s words, “capitalism’s uniqueness in history lies in its continuously self-generated change, but it is this very dynamism that is the system’s chief enemy.” THE NEW SCHOOL | Location: Wolff Conference Room, Albert and Vera List Academic Center Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

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