/ Autres événements organisés par des membres de Triangle

Webinar « Reproductive Rights in Contemporary Economics and the History of Economic Thought »


With the support of History of Economic Society and the Masters program in the Theory and History of Economics at the University of Lyon 2, we are hosting a series of webinars that bring together historians of economic thought, applied economists, demographers, and political and critical theorists to consider the economics of reproductive rights in contemporary and historical context around the world. The discussion of rights to safe and legal abortion was recently reopened in Kenya, India, Brazil, Macedonia, Russia, South Korea, and Poland. In the United States, the recent Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is likely to have profound implications for women’s health and socioeconomic opportunities. As economists writing on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health argued, “there is a substantial body of well-developed and credible research that shows that abortion legalization and access in the United States has had – and continues to have – a significant effect on birth rates as well as broad downstream social and economic effects, including on women’s educational attainment and job opportunities.” Those cited include Claudia Goldin, Francine Blau, Jonathan Gruber, and Joshua Angrist.

Linking reproductive rights to economic well-being is not a new phenomenon. The right of choice in childbearing has long been understood to contribute to women’s economic independence (Wollstonecraft 1798 ; J.S. Mill 1869 ; Wicksell 1880 ; Perkins Gilman 1898) and family limitation was also viewed as a component of improved living standards (Marshall 1890 ; Pareto 1896). Contemporary studies evince what was well understood by earlier economists – that effective family planning, including access to legal abortion, is associated with increased wages, higher family incomes, greater labor force participation rates, and expanded human capital investment (Goldin 1990 ; Gruber et al. 1999 ; Kleven et al. 2019 ; Lindo et al. 2020 ; Myers 2017 ; Meyers et al. 2019). It is also important to consider whether and how undermining reproductive rights might compromise the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their families in ways that are different to cisgender women or to heterosexual families.

Building on recent efforts that have revealed the depth and breadth of economic thought on gender disparities in education, labor conditions, pay, and ownership rights (e.g., Becchio 2020 ; Chassonnery-Zaïgouche and Cot 2021 ; Madden 2019 ; Badgett 2020), we seek to encourage dialog on the economics of reproductive rights with the goal of encouraging collaborations between scholars of diverse disciplinary backgrounds (with a focus on collaborations between historians of economic thought and applied economists). We also hope the webinars will support the development of materials that could be used for teaching special topics courses and seminars.


The webinars will be held online at a variety of different times to give the greatest opportunity for public attendance globally. Seminars will be moderated by Miriam Bankovsky (La Trobe University), Rebeca Gomez-Betancourt (University of Lyon 2-Triangle), and/or Marianne Johnson (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh).

We ask that those interested in attending any of the first four sessions to please register using this form. We will use the responses to disseminate the Zoom links. Another email and sign-up will be sent in late February for the second four sessions of the series.

Because of the diversity of times and time zones, we plan to record all webinars for which we receive permission. These will be made available via the HES website and YouTube channel.

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