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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.

Irini (Rena) Zafiriou

Michalis Psalidopoulos


Irini (Rena) Zafiriou (b. 1912) Rena Zafiriou was born in 1912 in London. She entered the University of Athens in 1930 and took her first degree in Politics and Economics in 1934 and the degree in Law one year later. She worked in the Ministry of Finance as a civil servant for two years (1937–39). Zafiriou participated in the competition for a ‘Damereion’ scholarship for postgraduate studies in economics and was the first woman to win the prize. She resigned her position in the Ministry of Finance and registered at the London School of Economics in October 1939. Through the intervention of her supervisor Lionel Robbins and because of the quality of her papers during her first year of study she registered for the Ph.D. degree. After the outbreak of the Second World War the LSE was evacuated to Cambridge. Most of the courses and seminars attended by Zafiriou were given by the Cambridge faculty. She heard Keynes’s lectures and became a Keynesian. This proved to be a problem as after 1940 Robbins went to work for the government in London and F.A. von Hayek became Zafiriou’s new supervisor. She disagreed with him on almost every issue and after various delays she received her Ph.D. in July 1945. Her external examiner was P. Rosenstein Rodan. Zafiriou is the first Greek woman economist to receive a Ph.D. in economics. When the Greek government in exile arrived in London the Greek embassy contacted Greek students...

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