2024 Annual Public Lecture with Professor Jane Humphries

10th June 2024, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Professor Jane Humphries, London School of Economics, will be conducting the Annual Public Lecture of the Royal Economic Society entitled:


Do economists care? The struggle to value caring work.



While Adam Smith defined economics in terms of wealth creation, for Alfred Marshall it concerned ‘the ordinary business of life’. Ever-present and universal, caring work is very ordinary, but it adds to wellbeing, and enhances productivity. Yet commercialised caring is neglected and undervalued, while unpaid care work is judged ‘beyond the production boundary’, so that although market equivalents suggest its value reaches a whopping 20-60 per cent of GDP, depending on country and attribution methodology, it remains outside National Income Accounts. Economic historians have done no better in recognising unpaid household work, despite its importance in the less-commercialised past. Inspired by researchers who have assigned value to caring and housework in today’s economies, I value the work performed unpaid at key dates in British history. A historical account enhances our understanding of ordinary life but also nuances interpretations of Smithian enrichment.


Booking Details:

The event is free to attend via Zoom, please follow the link to the Eventbrite page for booking.

For further information, please contact: tanya.wilson@glasgow.ac.uk



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