Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

The role of three women economists in the social reconstruction of Europe after IIWW interacting with the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC)

Zacchia Giulia, Sapienza university of Rome
Gomez Betancourt Rebeca, University of Lyon 2-Triangle

The role of women economists during the post-World War II reconstruction of Western Europe is still unknown. A small but substantial collection of studies discusses the role of male economists within the European institutions created after World War II, however no study analyses the role of women economists. The paper aims to shed some light on the contribution of the women economists who participated in the social reproduction and reconstruction of Europe through their work in The Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), created by the Marshall Plan after the Conference of Sixteen (Conference for European Economic Co-operation). Firstly, based on archival research, interviews, and personal documents, we re-emerge the hidden figures in the OEEC to know the names of some women economists who actively contributed to the European recovery program. Secondly, we focus on the work done by three women economists to rectify their neglected contributions. Through the reconstruction of the figures of Miriam Camp, Florence Kirlin, and Vera Cao Pinna, we will answer the following questions: Were the women economists more engaged in technical support or diplomacy? Were they been involved with associations for women’s rights? Were they part of the same networks? We studied their educational background, intime and family stories, as well as the role played by international networks and the travels they did. The analysis, with gender lenses, of the post-World War II reconstruction will also be scrutinized, aiming to find relevant implications and connections with the current situation of the European recovery, resilience plan for the post-Covid-19 pandemic, and the contribution of women economists.

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Keywords: Women economists, Europe; History of Economic Thought; Sociology of the Profession; Gender Studies, feminism.