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A Biographical Dictionary of Women Economists

A Biographical Dictionary of Women Economists

Elgar original reference

Edited by Robert W. Dimand, Mary Ann Dimand and Evelyn L. Forget

This major original reference work includes over one hundred specially commissioned articles on the lives and writings of women who made significant contributions to economics. It sheds new light on the rich, but too often neglected, heritage of women’s analysis of economic issues and participation in the discipline of economics. In addition to those who wrote in English, some notable Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Swedish women economists are included. This book will transform widely-held views about the past role of women in economics, and will stimulate further research in this exciting but underdeveloped field. It is dedicated to the memory of Michèle Pujol, a pioneer in the field.

Margaret Gordon

Joyce P. Jacobsen


Margaret Gordon (1910–94)1 Margaret Gordon (née Shaughnessy) was born on 4 September 1910 in Wabasha, Minnesota. Her father, a physician, and mother had both been raised in Ashland, Massachusetts, and the family moved back to the Boston area, to Framingham, in 1919. She received her BA (in economics) from Bryn Mawr in 1931, her MA in 1933, and her Ph.D. in 1935, both from Radcliffe College. She married Robert Aaron Gordon, then an instructor at Harvard and a Harvard economics Ph.D., in 1936, and had two sons – Robert, born in 1940, and David, born in 1944, both of whom went on to receive degrees from Harvard and become academic economists. She died on 28 June 1994, at the age of 83. Gordon’s early academic interests lay in the area of international trade. While at Harvard, she was influenced by Joseph Schumpeter and Gottfried Haberler. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled ‘A pre-war cycle in British trade, 1885–1896’, her first published paper (1940), first major paper (1946), and first book (1941) were all on trade topics. However, rather than rising through the academic ranks in the field of international trade, Gordon found her career in economics to be hindered by two forces: the general unavailability of academic positions in the 1930s; and her sex. This limitation on her aspirations had not necessarily been apparent during her college and postgraduate years; Bryn Mawr at the time was considered the major college for producing future female doctoral degree holders. And...

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