A Biographical Dictionary of Women Economists
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A Biographical Dictionary of Women Economists

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.
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Koko (Takako) Sanpei

Aiko Ikeo


Koko (Takako) Sanpei (1903–78) Koko (Takako) Sanpei was born in Fukushima in 1903. She graduated from Tokyo Woman’s Christian University in 1928 and then studied in the Department of Economics at Waseda University from 1928 until 1931. In 1931, she became a researcher (an economic historian) in Takahashi Institute for Economic Research, which was run by the influential economic journalist, Kamekichi Takahashi. Sanpei left the Institute in 1939 and joined the Japan Institute of Labor Science in 1940. She did fieldwork in rural villages and factories with the aim of improving working conditions. After World War II, Sanpei became a member of the Employment Security Council at the Tokyo Prefectural Labor Office in 1948, and a member of the Minimum Wage Council at the Ministry of Labor in 1952. Sanpei not only published several scholarly books on Japanese economic history, but also a couple of enlightening books for working women to improve their social status in the male-dominated Japanese society. Sanpei published her first book, The Historical Development of the Cotton Spinning Industry in Japan, in 1941. This was known as the first masterpiece produced by a Japanese woman in the field of Japanese economic history and gained a high reputation. Sanpei uncovered the fact that women were the main workforce in Japan’s cotton-spinning industry, which was the key sector in Japan’s early capitalist economy. In other words, Japanese women participated in the workforce in the process of modernization and played a large part in light industries,...

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