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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.

Theresa Schmid McMahon

Robert W. Dimand


Theresa Schmid McMahon (1878–1961) Theresa Schmid grew up on Mercer Island, at that time an isolated island in Lake Washington. After attending an ‘ungraded’ school on Mercer Island, she entered the University of Washington’s sub-freshman class in 1894, at the age of 16. She graduated in 1899, and received an AM in English in 1901. In 1900, she married Edward McMahon, a University of Washington history graduate who died shortly before their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They had no children. In 1901, they went to California for a year of graduate study. They then taught in Seattle before going in 1906 to the University of Wisconsin, where Edward took an AM in history in 1907 and Theresa a Ph.D. in sociology in 1909 (economics and sociology formed a single department at Wisconsin). Her feminist doctoral dissertation, Women and Economic Evolution, was published by the University of Wisconsin in 1912. She studied with John R. Commons, and was influenced by the writings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (q.v.). After graduation, Theresa McMahon spent a year at Hull House, as statistician for the Associated Charities of Chicago, studying infant mortality. In 1910 she joined the University of Washington (where her husband already taught) as an assistant in political science (despite her Ph.D., and despite having taken only a single, elementary course in political science). She became an instructor in 1911, Assistant Professor in 1914, Associate Professor in 1926 (after publication of her book on Social and Economic Standards of Living), and Full...

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